"at your library" in the north island eagle: dreaming of streaming... at the library

If you have internet access at home, you are in for a treat. The Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) has several high-quality streaming services. You can listen to audiobooks, watch movies and documentaries, learn skills – and learn about the world – by streaming or downloading on your own devices. And since you access these services through the library, they are all free.


This is the premiere Canadian streaming service. Kanopy offers an enormous variety of independent films, foreign films, classic movies, and documentaries. It's one of those apps that you can get completely lost in.

Kanopy also has educational videos about a wide variety of subjects, including Indigenous Studies, Health Studies, LGBTQ Stories, Photography, Journalism, and much more. Check out the series called The Great Courses. These are classes taught by experts in a field, such as history, philosophy, ancient civilizations, and earth studies – too many topics to possibly list here.

Each registered Kanopy user can play six videos per month – except for The Great Courses. You can watch those as much as you want, and they don't count towards your monthly allotment.

You can watch Kanopy through a variety of streaming devices: Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire, along with iPads, iPhones, other tablets, and of course computers.

You’ve got to try it. You won’t be disappointed.


Hoopla, like Kanopy, was developed for public libraries. This app has something for everyone – movies, eBooks, eAudiobooks, comics, music, and TV for streaming or download on almost any device. Next time you're looking for something different to read, listen to or watch, give Hoopla a try.

RB Digital eBooks, eAudiobooks, Magazines & Videos

If you're a magazine reader, you'll want to get RB Digital on your phone or tablet. You can read online or download dozens of magazine titles, including back issues, with no limits. RB Digital also offers eBooks and eAudiobooks – all unlimited and always free. It works beautifully on all mobile devices. RB Digital also gives you access to two other streaming apps – IndieFlix and Acorn TV.


IndieFlix offers classic movies and TV shows, and films and documentaries from major film festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, and Cannes. You can find interviews with actors and directors, and quirky short films that are both fun and thought-provoking.

Acorn TV

If you like British TV, Acorn is the app for you. Murdoch Mysteries, Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders, Poirot, Vera – they're all here, all unlimited, and all free.

To access all these great options, start with the VIRL website: virl.bc.ca. Click or tap on “Read, Watch, Listen” and check out all the choices.

If you're not sure how to use any of these apps, call us or come see us at the library. We're here to help.

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