Intro to Streaming Video Apps

Streaming apps have been around for over a decade, and they’ve only continued to grow in popularity with the rise of Netflix and Hulu. In recent years, many households have even opted to forgo paying for cable television and instead choose to get their entertainment almost exclusively from streaming apps. And why not? They offer a wide assortment of TV shows, movies, and documentaries that you can watch anytime, and many streaming services offer shows and movies that are only found exclusively on their platform.

Large cable networks have begun offering exclusive streaming services as well, and many of the shows and movies you love to watch are now made available to see anytime you want. Long gone are the days of browsing the TV Guide to see if anything good is on, or checking to see when that movie you really want to watch airs again. Nowadays, you are able watch what you want when you want, and not just on your TV, but also on your smartphone or tablet. Streaming apps are pretty great, and CPL has some of its own for you to browse when you’ve finished your Netflix queue or when nothing on Hulu is quite popping out at you.

Canton Public Library cardholders have access to Kanopy and Hoopla for streaming. Signing up is quick and easy; all you need is a compatible device, your e-mail address, your library card, and your PIN. You can even download the apps to your SmartTV. Once you’re signed in, you can start browsing through tens of thousands of titles that are available to borrow instantly, and once you check out a movie or episode, you have three days to watch it as many times as you like.

Kanopy offers a library of over 30,000 films including classic Hollywood movies, popular reality TV series, and documentaries from channels like History and PBS. CPL cardholders receive 20 tickets to use; titles will range from one to five tickets. Tickets reset on the first day of the new month.

In addition, Kanopy occasionally offers a Credit-Free Viewing shelf with a variety of videos that do not require a credit to watch. Kanopy also has a zone for children called Kanopy Kids. Kanopy Kids videos are free to view and do not require the use of your credits to watch, meaning you can keep the kids entertained for hours with TV shows like Sesame Street and Franklin or animated versions of popular picture books like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Hoopla offers not only e-books and e-audiobooks but also movies, TV shows, and music. Making an account as a CPL cardholder is easy; just download the app for Android or iOS and follow the prompts to create an account. Hoopla's library includes 10,000+ films and TV shows to browse including popular BBC shows, Lifetime movies, and PBS documentaries. If you find that impressive, it has an even larger selection of e-books and e-audiobooks.

Hoopla also has a Kids Mode that you can toggle on and off as you please, and the platform offers plenty of popular kids titles like The Magic School Bus, Caillou, and Dora for your child to enjoy.  Hoopla allows 20 checkouts per month, and you can save titles for later by clicking on the heart icon. To view titles that you’ve saved, click "My Hoopla" at the bottom of your screen and select the heart icon. Hoopla also keeps track of your borrowing history. To view your history, click on "My Hoopla" and select "History."


A good rule of thumb for a misbehaving app is “when in doubt, close it and restart it.” If this doesn’t solve the problem, have no fear: both Hoopla and Kanopy offer detailed Help pages. Whether you’re having trouble signing in or your video isn’t playing right, both services offer articles covering common problems.

Tip: If you’re getting a specific error message in Kanopy, you can type the error code into the search bar to get targeted help.

For more information about our e-media platforms including Kanopy and Hoopla, check out these FAQs below. 

e-Media FAQs

  • Canton Public Library card is required to access our library of streaming movies, music, ebooks, and magazines.

    You can access OverDrive and most Hoopla titles straight from the catalog. Look for the item in your preferred format, and either select the link to access it directly or if its a downloadable title, select the check out button for next steps.

    The library also offers access to Kanopy, for streaming movies, and Alexander Street Press, for a variety of music, both popular and rare. A selection of the available offerings can be accessed via the catalog, or explore these sites directly to see the full offering.

    Need more details on how to use these resources? Check out the links on our Books & Media page for more info.

  • Databases and online resources can be found on the Research & Learn page. The dark grey section partway down the page has a link to an A-Z listing of all databases and online resources available to you through CPL, as well as links to groups of resources for particular areas of interest.

  • No. OverDrive and Hoopla both automatically delete items when the lending period ends. You can also delete them early if you choose. Kanopy content is streamed to your device over an internet connection - never downloaded.

  • Yes. Visit our OverDrive site to check out Kindle format e-books and send them wirelessly to your device.

  • Unfortunately, no. While we are able to loan physical materials to anyone we choose, sharing online resources with patrons of other libraries is a violation of the Terms of Use for many of these products. We recommend contacting your home library; many subscribe to these same resources.

    Some databases are available if you are in the library using a CPL desktop computer or connected to the Wi-Fi. Our Online Resources list also includes resources that are made available to the entire state through the Michigan Electronic Library (MeL).

    Not finding what you're looking for or need help? Stop by the Information Desk or call us at 734-397-0999 for help finding the right resource for you.