If you’re hunkering down for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic — and who isn’t? — the current directive is for people to avoid crowds and keep things cozy at home. That doesn’t have to mean staying at home and staring out a window.
There are plenty of streaming services out there — Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, just to name a few.
But what to do if it feels like you’ve seen everything there is to see on your streaming service of choice?
Maybe try your local library.
While all branches of the Kanawha County Public Library system are closed for the duration of the pandemic, you can still get a whole bunch of movies, music, audio books and e-books without ever changing out of your pajamas.
And all you need is a library card.
Seth Newell, the technical services and collections manager at KCPL, said there’s plenty to explore and something for just about every taste.
For movie fans, Newell said KCPL had three different options — WVDELI, Hoopla and Kanopy.
While there is some duplication of titles on each service, together they provide plenty of resources for library patrons looking to fill some time or learn something new.
Newell said, “WVDELI is our biggest source of where people can check out e-books and audio books. We even have some videos. There’s all kinds of content, new content, out there.”
WVDELI is a mix of new, old, well-known and obscure films. The service regularly adds new material.
“There’s just all kinds of content,” he said.
Many of the movies on Hoopla are mainstream films with mass market appeal, though are generally a few years old. In some ways, it resembles the catalog of Amazon Prime, which is loaded with much loved, but not super current titles like “Legally Blonde,” “13 Going on 30” and “Boondock Saints.”
They also have films broken into helpful categories like Apocalypse and Disaster movies, where you can check out such notable films as “Snakes on a Train” (Not to be confused with “Snakes on a Plane”) and “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies.”
Kanopy, meanwhile, offers more acclaimed, international and art cinema films like “Metropolis,” “The Florida Project,” “What We Do In Shadows,” and “Captain Fantastic.”
“Kanopy is chocked full of educational material,” Newell added.
The service includes a wide range of documentaries and instructional films, animated children’s series from PBS Kids, and quite a few children’s programs based on Bible stories.
Adult patrons can check out up to five items per month, but materials for children on Kanopy are unlimited.
Music fans can hear new music through Freegal.
“You can stream music five hours a day or download three songs a week and keep them,” Newell said.
Music on the site ranges from new releases from bands like The Chainsmokers and Vampire Weekend to albums by Shakira, the Foo Fighters and Miranda Lambert.
There are also magazines on RBDigital and interactive children’s books on Tumblebooks. If you have a lot of time, you can even pick up a new language through Mango Languages.
If you already subscribe to a streaming service, KCPL’s options probably wouldn’t replace them, but they might give you some new options and show you a few new things to watch or remind you of old favorites you’ve forgotten about.