In my favorite childhood book series, “Betsy-Tacy,” the protagonist’s world widens, both geographically and metaphorically, when she’s old enough to go downtown — on her own — to spend the afternoon in the local Carnegie library’s children’s room. I naturally imagined this room to look much like the children’s room at Cherry Creek, my local branch. I loved those virtual outings.
With the emerging primacy of streaming and digital media, however, some people have forgotten the library. After all, a library is just about printed books, right? Actually, the library has been incredibly creative about evolving into a place that’s not just for loaning books, but a space for film rental, workshops, informational sessions and children’s programming.
To a book person that can be challenging, because sometimes I feel the library is transforming itself into something I don’t recognize. But then one could argue that libraries were always about more than books. They were a communal place to acquire knowledge and exchange ideas. A place for exploration.
One of Denver Public Library’s most recent innovations is to offer the excellent Kanopy streaming platform. It’s pretty straightforward: Every DPL user has eight credits a month. The hard part is finding the time and choosing from the vast selection of available films.
Like the shelves in the library’s physical home, Kanopy is a cornucopia. So far my watchlist skews toward foreign films (I have a thing for French comedies), but in my queue are also WW II documentaries and a mockumentary about vampires recommended by a colleague.
Shana Goldberg may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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