Iowa City Public Library now offers movie streaming and home delivery of books

Photo by Zak Neumann

The Iowa City Public Library (ICPL) is offering a new way to watch movies at home, and a new way to get library books into your hands.

Anyone with a library card from ICPL or the Coralville Public Library can now access Kanopy, a movie streaming service available on Apple and Android devices, as well as Roku, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire devices. Kanopy “has more than 30,000 films and counting, specializing in independent films, documentaries, classic and early films, international cinema, and educational videos,” according to ICPL.

Library cardholders will be able to stream up to eight movies a month for free.

More than 200 libraries around the country offer Kanopy — the Cedar Rapids Public Library has had the service available since December — but ICPL is probably the first library to partner with a food delivery service to deliver food for your mind.

Chomp, Iowa City’s locally owned food delivery service, will now pick up books on hold at the ICPL for delivery.

“We’re always looking for ways to make the library more convenient to use,” said Kara Logsden, ICPL community and access services coordinator. “The wonderful thing about Chomp is they deliver to Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, University Heights, Hills and Tiffin. So, people who live a-ways out might decide that it’s more convenient to have a Chomp driver pick up their holds and deliver them, instead of driving into downtown Iowa City.”

Logsden said the idea of partnering with a delivery service first came up in 2014, after OrderUp began delivering food in Iowa City. She contacted Adam Weeks, who was then OrderUp’s Iowa City manager.

“I thought it was good idea,” Weeks said. But the higher-ups at OrderUp didn’t, so the delivery service never happened.

“Then, about a month ago, when I heard that Chomp was a local company, I thought maybe they’d be interested in delivering library holds for us,” Logsden. She emailed Chomp, but didn’t realize her email was going to Weeks, who co-founded Chomp after leaving OrderUp following its purchase by GrubHub.

“When Kara brought it to me this time, I said ‘Absolutely, we’ll find a way to make this work,’” Weeks told Little Village. “The fact that we’re a locally owned and operated company means we could make the decision, and we’re happy to facilitate people who are busy getting their books on hold delivered to them.”

Chomp was founded last year to give local restaurants dissatisfied with the big national delivery services an alternative. Since October, it has grown from delivering for four restaurants to delivering for just under 100 restaurants.

To get Tolstoy, Hemingway or Dr. Seuss delivered, a library patron needs a Chomp account. The delivery process starts by contacting the ICPL to place a book or books on hold. After receiving confirmation of the hold from the library, the patron can go to Chomp’s website and click the Iowa City Public Library link to schedule delivery.

There’s $1.49 convenience fee, and the delivery charge starts at $2.99. The total amount depends on the distance between the library and final destination of the books.

“The library does not pay anything for this. The library does not make any money on this,” Logsdon explained. “It’s just 100 percent for the convenience for our patrons.”

Anyone with questions about Kanopy or book delivery can contact the ICPL at 319-356-5200.

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