Huzzah for hoopla!
Library offers streaming music, movies and ebooks
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Saturday, Aug 24, 2013 06:00 am
The St. Albert Public Library just made a major acquisition of music albums, movies, TV shows and audiobooks, but none of it can be found on the facility’s shelves in St. Albert Place.
The 285,000 new titles can only be found on your computer or your mobile device. It’s all there and available to patrons at the push of a button, thanks to an online service called hoopla.
Public services manager Heather Dolman said that this is was a very easy way for the library to flesh out its collection without taking up any extra physical space.
“We haven’t had movies online or the more current music online, so that’s something that we’ve been missing in our collection. That helps to fill out the gap a little bit.”
All told there are more than 225,000 music albums, more than 51,000 movies and TV shows and more than 7,500 audiobook titles now available.
“It’s pretty extensive,” she stated, adding that the collection also beats out other online services in a few ways. “Our other service for ebooks, OverDrive, has had videos but not the same calibre or the same kind of content. This is newer content. I think that there’s more there that people will find that they’re interested in.”
She said that 80 per cent of hoopla's movies and TV episodes aren't available on Netflix and about 70 per cent of Billboard's Top 100 songs are on hoopla.
“The range of titles on offer is the main attraction.”
The collection comes through an agreement with hoopla digital, a digital service from Midwest Tape in Ohio. It has provided CDs, DVDs and Blu Rays to libraries for more than two decades.
Users might have to download a Widevine add-on in order to play the digital content. There is no limit to the number of people who can access the same title at the same time. Each library cardholder can borrow up to 10 items each month.
“No waiting for items to be returned. And finally, there are free apps for Apple and Android devices to enable you to use hoopla.”
The amount of time that an item can be borrowed, however, is much different from the standard. Movies and TV shows are available for three days only, music for seven days, and Audiobooks for three weeks. The content streams to the user’s computer or mobile device, or is temporarily downloaded. It cannot be permanently downloaded, however.
Users also don’t have to worry about returning items on time. They do so automatically at the end of the borrowing period.
Patrons who are keen to learn more about the service and get a first look at how hoopla works can attend either of two orientation sessions. These will last one hour each and take place on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.
Members of the public who are interested in attending either session should register first at 780-459-1682.
To learn more, visit www.sapl.ca.