As if having a library card wasn't already a great thing — thousands of pages and digital bits and more at the tips of your fingers — it actually got even better this month.

Through Mesa County Libraries' eResources, cardholders now have access to Kanopy, an online streaming service with feature films and documentaries, educational courses and children's books as short videos and children's shows and movies.

Kanopy is a library-friendly service with content that expands on what is already available through Mesa County Libraries, said Bob Kretschman, communications manager.

With 10 checkouts on Kanopy each month, library patrons can view classic films as well as newer releases and foreign films, public performances and arts, history and science-related viewing options.

Kanopy Kids is available for younger viewers, and anyone eager to learn something new can watch the "Great Courses" series. There are unlimited checkouts for Kanopy Kids and "Great Courses."

Kanopy can be used at home or in a classroom, Kretschman said.

Emmi Farris, communication specialist for Mesa County Libraries, found some films on Kanopy that were recommended to her in college, but that she hadn't been able to find elsewhere. "It's wonderful!" she said.

To celebrate the addition of Kanopy to its lineup of digital offerings, Mesa County Libraries will put on a two-day film festival to show off some of the content available on Kanopy and to allow people learn how to access the service.

From 3–6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, in the Community Room at the Central Library, 443 N. Sixth St., there will be 23 short films shown. The content for this part of the festival is for more mature viewers and will be PG-13+, according to Farris.

There will be a gourmet popcorn bar with some fun seasonings from The Zesty Moose in downtown Grand Junction.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, in the library's Community Room, 15 short films from Kanopy Kids will be shown. With a family-friendly lineup and more popcorn, this portion of the festival will give viewers an idea of the streaming services' options for children, Farris said.

Admission is free both days and seating will be provided, but those who attend are welcome to bring comfy camp chairs, blankets or pillows to sit on if they prefer, she said.

During breaks between screenings each day, people can learn about how to access Kanopy at mesacountylibraries.org, set up an account using their library card number and how to use the Kanopy app. (Tip: It's best to set up an account before using the app.)

"I think a lot of people are going to enjoy this," Kretschman said. "It's a way that we really give people a wide choice in materials."

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