Wouldn’t it be the comeback of the century if libraries unseated Netflix as streaming king? It’s yet unclear how successful the campaign will be, but as of today, Friday, August 4, a New York or Brooklyn Public Library card will grant you access to thousands of films, including hundreds from the Criterion Collection.
To sign up, you’ll need your library card and to make an account on Kanopy, a streaming service which started out in 2008 selling DVDs to Australian University Libraries. The company has capitalized on the market of streaming films to higher education campuses and public libraries worldwide. Once that account is made, you’ll be granted access to most of Kanopy’s over 30,000 documentaries, indie flicks, foreign films, classic movies and more. (Among them, Boondock Saints, Eraserhead, and The 400 Blows) The offerings include over 400 titles from the Criterion Collection, which is a sort of international Library of Congress dedicated to “gathering the greatest films from around the world”.
A rep over at Kanopy told us on the phone that NYPL and BPL account holders will have access to “a majority” of the 30K+ films the service streams. As well, the rep noted that unlike Netflix, there is not too much film turnover over time, and in fact Kanopy is increasing their database and adding 100 or so new films every month.
NYPL account holders will have access to ten movies a month, and BPL account holders will have access to six movies a month, Gothamist reported. (Boo, Brooklynites deserve as many movies! Strangely, though, Brooklyn Public Library cards are free for “anyone that lives, works, pays property taxes, or attends school in New York State,” while New York Public Library cards are free to, “New York City residents & non-residents who work or attend school in NYC.”) Once you’ve started watching a movie, the service will give you three days to finish watching it.
— NY Public Library (@nypl) August 3, 2017
Another great free things offered by NYPL: SimplyE, an app granting NYPL library cardholders access to over 300,000 e-books.