DC Public Library rolls out new movie streaming service

WASHINGTON — If you want to cut the cord, get a D.C. Public Library card.

The library has rolled out a new video streaming service, powered by San Francisco-based streaming service provider Kanopy, that lets library members watch videos on smartphones, tablets and TV sets. It is free and includes more than 30,000 titles.

April DeRome, the D.C. Public Library’s digital collections librarian, told WTOP that the streaming service already has an impressive number number of titles from a broad selection of categories.

“There are documentaries; there are indie films, there is world cinema. We have the Great Courses, which is a way to learn about new things, and there are also movies from film festivals,” DeRome said.

The Prince George’s County Public Library is offering the same service to its members.

Kanopy, founded in 2008, offers streaming services of mostly educational material to thousands of universities and recently expanded its business to include public libraries.

While the video streaming service available to D.C. Public Library cardholders is free, there are limits.

“You get six films every month,” DeRome said. “Once you start a movie, you have three days to watch it. You can take three days to watch it or you can watch it multiple times. At the beginning of every month your play credits start over and you get six new titles.”

You can browse and search titles available before you sign up.

The D.C. Public Library has a goal of putting public library cards in the hands of 75 percent of District residents.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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