North Miami Public Library has launched a partnership with hoopla digital, an app and online service for library cardholders.
Hoopla digital, an on-demand service — similar to Netflix — based out of Holland, Ohio, is a service of Midwest Tape. Jeff Jankowski, owner and founder of hoopla, said that Midwest Tape has been “a trusted partner of public libraries for over 20 years.” About 80 percent of hoopla digital’s titles are not on Netflix.
With just a library card, library members have access to more than 300,000 movies, music and eBooks from major Hollywood studios publishers and record companies. Users can also view educational videos including documentaries, foreign films, SAT preparation materials, children and fitness videos.
Hoopla digital is free for the user, and only the library pays a fee to launch hoopla in their system. All content is available on smartphones, tablets, PCs and Apple TVs (via Airplay).
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The app works like an online library checkout system. A cardholder can check out up to eight items per month; however, different users can check out the same item. There are no late fees. Items are automatically returned at the due date.
Hoopla currently has about 250,000 albums, 21,000 eBooks, 17,000 audiobooks, 10,000 television titles, 6,000 movies and 1,500 comic books.
Hoopla has big-name content across the board, including the Frozen audiobook, the film Silver Linings Playbook and the album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late by Drake. The app also has a variety of television and eBook genres to select from.
DC Comics Entertainment has partnered with hoopla to provide users access to DC comic books. DC Comics publishes Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman books.
“The staff is excited to be able to offer this service to patrons. We are telling everyone who visits the library in person — those who are already ‘techies,’ and those who are new to the digital media are very interested in details,” North Miami Library Manager Lucia Gonzalez said.
According to Gonzalez, the response from the community has been “a mixture of surprise and appreciation.” She also stated it is a “no-brainer” that hoopla will motivate community members to join the library.
“The North Miami Library is transforming into a 21st century library. In the future, we will continue to expand our virtual presence as we tailor our services, programs and collections to the community’s shifting informational, educational and recreational needs,” Gonzalez said.
With the world becoming almost exclusively digital, Jankowski expressed confidence in his app: “We knew we were introducing a really new and unrestricted service for libraries — really, a first for the library market. Our goal is to be available for all libraries and patrons across the United States. Library patrons can think of hoopla digital as library 2.0.”
Hoopla was launched with Miami-Dade libraries in 2014. North Miami Public Library is the 15th library in Florida to utilize the service.
Hoopla is part of the powerful story of “the evolution of libraries,” Jankowski said.