Cedar Rapids library now offers streaming video

Streaming video has made its way into the collection at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. We’ve recently added Kanopy, a streaming service with 30,000 videos available to residents. You’ll find a great variety in Kanopy from art films, documentaries, Great Courses, Criterion Films and independent films. This is media to savor rather than binge.

Cedar Rapids residents have access to 10 movies a month and you can use your desktop, tablet, phone and smart TV to watch. The response so far has been overwhelmingly excited and we’re seeing heavy use in our first few weeks of offering the service. If you’re not sure where to start, we can give you some suggestions based on what everyone else is watching.

Our top five viewed videos are an interesting mix of documentaries, indie films and classics. No. 1 is called “The Inspiration Series: The Dynamics of Couples.” This documentary looks at different types of friendships and relationships in media over the years.

No. 2 is “I am Not Your Negro,” the Oscar-nominated documentary based on an unfinished manuscript by James Baldwin and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

For something completely different, the third on our list is, “Hunt for the Wilderpeople.” This is a comedy-drama indie film from New Zealand director Taika Waititi about a boy on the run in the New Zealand bush.

“His Girl Friday,” with Cary Grant as a fast-talking newspaperman trying to win over his ex-wife makes number four.

The list ends with “Playtime.” A French film, famous for its inventiveness and elaborate production values.

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Not much of a movie person? The selection of Great Courses on Kanopy also has been popular. Great Courses is a collection of educational courses on an enormous variety of subjects from art, history, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, and that’s just the start. You can search for Great Courses on the Kanopy streaming site to see the full selection.

New films are added every month, so it’s worth checking back regularly. The interface is easy to browse and will feel very similar to other streaming services you’ve used before. Ready to take a look? Just go to kanopystreaming.com and sign up using your library card. All Cedar Rapids and Marion residents have access this service. Contact the library with any questions.

l Erin Horst is materials manager for the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

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