All is ‘Go’ for new library media device

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 25, 2017

 File photo

File photo

The library is known as a place for books, but the Sterling Heights Public Library now has an option for residents who want to rent and view movies via their tablets, smartphones and mobile devices.

The GoChip Beam is a handheld streaming device that stores five full-length movies and uses a Wi-Fi router to send them to as many as eight users via a free mobile app. The devices don’t require access to the internet, according to library officials.

Jason Groth, library public relations and programs coordinator, said the devices made their way to the library’s shelves in October. The new devices come courtesy of a partnership with the Virginia-based Library Ideas LLC.

“People, when they first heard about it, they said, ‘Wow, that’s really neat. That’s the new future of media distribution.’ And people were excited about it,” Groth said.

Different GoChip Beam products contain different sets of movies, which can be themed around genres like romance, science fiction, crime and action, Groth said.

GoChip products can be borrowed upon request while available, as long as the patron has a library card. Patrons may borrow the GoChip devices for a week, with up to three renewals possible, as long as no one else has a reservation, Groth said.

Groth said the GoChip is ideal for library patrons who don’t have traditional DVD or Blu-ray players, but who instead are interested in using their mobile platforms for streaming shows. Because tablets and phones can’t accept those discs on their own, the GoChip becomes the mediator to access that content.

“People will access that router, and they can stream from that device,” he said. “It’s a way to check out physical media in a portable way.”

Right now, the library is only using the GoChip devices with stored movies, Groth said.

“They do offer television series, but we’re not doing that right now,” he said.

At an Oct. 17 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, Library Director Tammy Turgeon said the library is one of the first in the country to offer this option to patrons. She described GoChip Beams as physical devices that act as a Wi-Fi hotspot and allow movies to be viewed in many situations outside the home. She added that the library has 20 GoChip devices now and is expecting to get three more per month.

“So with the library’s focus on being the go-to place for help with technology, we’re always looking to try new things,” she said, adding later: “This means you can watch movies in the car, on an airplane or in the park.”

After Turgeon spoke, City Manager Mark Vanderpool called it “really neat technology” and thanked Turgeon for her role in getting it implemented in Sterling Heights.

Learn more about the Sterling Heights Public Library, 40255 Dodge Park Road, by visiting or by calling (586) 446-2640.