Discover the London Public Library's free online streaming service

Header image for the article Discover the London Public Library's free online streaming service Credit: Kanopy offers hundreds of classic films and documentaries that you might not find on other streaming sites.
SAVANNAH BISAILLON

Are you a movie junkie? Do you feel like you’ve already watched everything on Netflix? The London Public Library has the answer.

The library offers a free streaming service and all you need is a library card to access it. Even if you do not have a library card, you can sign up for a temporary card that will grant you access to Kanopy, the library’s catalogue of new and classic films.

Kanopy is a streaming platform filled with a variety of genres to watch. Unlike Netflix, Kanopy offers content that is not likely to be streamed on other streaming services. When browsing through the catalogue, I noticed that this platform offers a great selection of classic movies. I have always had a love for old Hollywood films. Films starring Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe were some of my favourites growing up. So having a platform where I can stream classic movies is amazing.

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The service also offers a large catalogue of documentaries, TV series, short films and many more. It is very easy to navigate as the site itself offers different subcategories to make it easier to find what you are looking for. 

When you sign up with a temporary library card, you are offered four free streams for the month. What I like most about Kanopy is that not only does it offer a variety of content to choose from, but it also offers content for educational purposes.

While browsing their selections, I found some Audrey Hepburn films that I hadn’t yet seen. The more I browsed through the library, the more films I added to my watch list. As an individual who loves old Hollywood vibes, I am most looking forward to setting some time aside to watch some classics. The first film on my list is Charade, starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant.

Once you find something you want to watch, there is a useful section called ‘People who watched this also watched,’ with popular suggestions based on the genre of movie you just watched. I sometimes have a hard time deciding on what to watch, so just having the option to watch films that are suggested to my liking makes decision-making a lot easier.

With the stay-at-home order in effect, I know I have spent countless hours scrolling through Netflix and Disney+, watching a lot of TV shows and movies that I have already seen. So Kanopy gives me the opportunity to watch something  new or something I wouldn’t have thought to watch.

To sign up for a temporary library card and take advantage of this awesome service, just visit the London Public Library website and go to the Library From Home tab. Once on the page, scroll down until you find video and movies. There, you’ll find Kanopy and you will be asked to enter your Library Card’s number and pin.

Most of the catalogue on Kanopy consists of content I have not seen on other streaming platforms. I find Netflix cycles through their content in phases. Once every couple months they upload new content, but it is often the same stuff they have had on at previous times.

Now that I am aware of this service offered through the library, I am stoked to take some time to explore the platform more and invest some time into watching some classic films. I have made it a goal this summer to watch 100 films, so having access to Kanopy will make this goal more obtainable.

This is a great  way to introduce yourself to new content while also using local, public services.