Watch Streaming Movies with our Newest Digital Media Resource: Kanopy!

By Jamie W. Wed, November 1, 2017

The Free Library is very pleased to announce the launch of a brand-new service to our cardholders. The popular on-demand video streaming service Kanopy is now available at no cost with your library card! Free Library of Philadelphia card holders can access Kanopy and sign up to start streaming films on demand instantly. You will find a link to Kanopy on our Digital Media Portal

Cardholders will be able to access four films each month! Friday date night movies? Kids' sleepovers? Just a way to unwind with great films including movies from the Critereon Collection and Janus Films? We've got you covered. 

Offering what the New York Times calls "a garden of cinematic delights," Kanopy showcases more than 30,000 titles, including award-winning documentaries and acclaimed films, rare and hard-to-find titles, and classic films, with collections from The Great Courses, Kino Lorber, and PBS, among many others.

You can access Kanopy through a variety of devices and platforms, including Roku, Apple TV, iOS, and Android. Kanopy is also compatible for those with hearing- (with captions and transcripts) and visual-impairments (compatible with technologies such as JAWS).

With the motto "thoughtful entertainment," Kanopy provides access to films of unique social and cultural value; films that are often difficult or impossible to access elsewhere; and programming that features diversity, with a wide array of foreign language films and films on race and current affairs. 

The Kanopy collection includes indie hits like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, classic masterpieces like Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Seven Samurai, and award-winning documentaries like the 2017 Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro.

To get started, visit Kanopy and log in with your library card number and PIN. Let us know what you think in the comments below!



SR OBrien Wed, November 01, 2017
Peter - South Philly Wed, November 01, 2017
Sounds like a good opportunity, but won't the data charges from your internet service provider end up costing more than if you just rented a DVD?
feudi pandola - philadelphia Wed, November 01, 2017
Thank you for providing this outstanding service!
John Funk - Fox Chase Wed, November 01, 2017
I am completely psyched about this!
Allison Kelsey - Philadelphia Wed, November 01, 2017
Thanks for having this service, can't wait to check it out!
Lutfiyah - Philadelphia Wed, November 01, 2017
I don't see where to enter library card # and pin...signup on the linked site requires facebook, google, or email address login.
badams Thu, November 02, 2017
Hi badams - I got confused at the same place. Once you enter your email address, Kanopy sends you a verification email and you need to click the link they provide. It is at that point that they ask for your library card number. Then your card number and email are associated and going forward you can sign into Kanopy just using your email and the password you make up.
Jamie W - Philadelphia Thu, November 02, 2017
I verified my email, and now it wants me to enter/find Free Library....on a list. When I type in "Free Library of Philadelphia," nothing happens. I logged out and tried again. Any ideas? thanks!
Allison Kelsey - Philadelphia Thu, November 02, 2017
I just tired it again, and it worked. I entered my library card #, then the shape of the field changed and a list of libraries came up. Weird. But I'm in! thank you.
Allison Kelsey - Philadelphia Thu, November 02, 2017
Is the free library only for people in the U S ?
Meena Reddy - Chennai Fri, November 03, 2017
Is there a workshop or anything for people who do not know how to begin?
Norma Silber - Philadelphia Fri, November 03, 2017
Hello Ms. Silber - we do not currently have workshops scheduled. Please begin by visiting our Kanopy site at the link we provide above. Then click 'Sign Up' at the top right of the screen. You will be asked to enter your name and email address, Kanopy will then send you a verification email and you need to click the link they provide. At that point Kanopy will ask for your library card number and you will be able to start watching films. If you have trouble signing up or using the site, please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of this page to send us an email. One of our librarians will help you one-on-one via email.
Jamie W - Philadelphia Fri, November 03, 2017
can a movie be paused and restarted if I have an interruption that needs attending to so that I don't lose any of the four credits
donald keyes - philadelphia Sat, November 04, 2017
William Lauer - Philadelphia Wed, November 08, 2017
Michelle - Philadelphia Tue, November 14, 2017
Great service. Thanks for offering. Love my local library. My librarians are so nice!
Sara - Olney Wed, November 22, 2017
WOW! the Free Library is becoming relevant and pertinent in/to the 21st Century.
Juanda - South Philly Sat, November 25, 2017
Heard about Kanopy this summer. Checked for Free Lib of Phila. It was not on list. Suggested it be added. You did it. Thank you.
Meg - East Falls Wed, November 29, 2017
Please send application for new library card. Lost old one
Frank engel - 9896 bustleton ave Sun, December 10, 2017
Hello Frank - you can apply for a new card in any of Free Library locations or online here:
Jamie W - Philadelphia, PA Sun, December 10, 2017
Nanziba - Philadelphia Wed, December 27, 2017
Thank You for The new information
Gerald Warren - Philadelphia,Pa Thu, December 28, 2017
Trying to re register
loretta j Lombardi - Fumo Family Branch Library Fri, January 05, 2018
Hi. Thank you for this. I love Kanop and I use it frequently. So much (to the max of 4 per month), I contacted Kanopy and offered to pay a monthly fee to extend my number of views per month. They wrote me back and said the limitation, i.e., 4 videos per month, is completely in control of the participating library. So my question to you is, can you up the movies, to say, 8 per month? Does anything weigh against doing so? I'm curious to know. Thank you.
Ed M. - Northern Liberties, Philadelphia Tue, September 04, 2018
My Kanopy account through the free library is marked "inactive". Does this reflect something about my library card?
Saul Sternberg - Philadelphia Mon, October 01, 2018
Hi Saul - it's possible but we don't have enough information to help you here. Please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of this page to send us an email. Include your library card number and description of what happens when you try to watch a film on Kanopy. Thank you.
Jamie W - Philadelphia Tue, October 02, 2018
Hi! I just found out about Kanopy and of course signed up right away. However, it keeps telling me I have an invalid pin. I'm a HUGE fan of your online audiobook service so I logged out of that and then logged back in just to make sure I was using the right PIN number and i was. Is there something else I could be missing? Thanks!!!
Caroline Owens - Philadelphia Fri, December 28, 2018
Thank you!
Regina Robbins - Philadelphia Sat, December 29, 2018
I understood that we could watch any film in the Free Library catalogue, but I searched for RBG in Kanopy after signing in through the Free Library and the film did not show up.
Walter Mon, January 21, 2019
Hello Walter - thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We offer many films through our Kanopy platform, as well as many on our Hoopla platform. We also have a very large collection of DVDs for loan. When you search our catalog for a particular film, the record will indicate in which of these formats it is available. The film, RBG specifically, is available on DVD at many of our locations. It is also available digitally on our Hoopla platform. It is not currently available on Kanopy. You can access Hoopla on our Digital Media page ( Thank you.
Jamie W - Philadelphia Tue, January 22, 2019
Hi, does the limit of 4 movies per month include TV shows? If so, it's a shame that the number is limited to 4.
Victoria - Philadelphia Fri, February 22, 2019
I have been using Kanopy to access the Great Courses, specifically How to Play Piano and Algebra 1. Today I tried to access Piano and my watchlist is empty as is Continue Watching. Is there a limit to access to Great Courses?
Michael Sullivan - Philadelphia Fri, January 03, 2020
What's going on with the Great Courses? I was in the middle of one yesterday and it became unavailable. I contacted Kanopy and they said that you dropped the service. Any chance that was a mistake? Or is the Great Courses content gone?
Chris Holst Fri, January 03, 2020
Hi Chris, Great Courses materials are no longer available through our Kanopy platform. We do offer Great Courses through other platforms and in other mediums: 36 Great Courses through RBdgital as audiobook downloads 50 Great Courses on DVD 30 Great Courses on audiobook CD You can find all of these titles by searching our catalog at, using the term "Great Courses" in quotes. If there is a specific course you're looking for but do not see, please email us and let us know the title and we will see if it is available to purchase:
Jamie B - Philadelphia Fri, January 17, 2020

Leave this field empty

Add a Comment to Watch Streaming Movies with our Newest Digital Media Resource: Kanopy!

(Your email is kept private and will not be shown publicly)
(Example: Philadelphia, New Jersey, South Philly, Germantown)