Last Updated: May 20th, 2014 - 11:18:35


Library card is your ticket to movies
By Ashley McLeod, Staff Writer
May 16, 2014, 12:28

ASHLEY MCLEOD/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT JenWolfe demonstrates the Hoopla program on an iPad, one of the many devices on which can users can use the streaming program.
The Appomattox Regional Library System has introduced a new product that brings access to hundreds of movies, audio books, and television shows for any patron with a library card.

Launched March 1, Hoopla allows library patrons to stream or download the titles onto any Android or Apple device, as well as personal computers. All you need to use Hoopla is a library card and device to stream or download.

According to Jen Wolfe, librarian at the Hopewell branch of ARLS, more than 150 people signed up for the Hoopla program within a few weeks of the launch.

Its still a very new product, and were only the third library in Virginia to use it, Wolfe said.

The Hoopla program is free to use by any library patron, as long as the library card is current with no fines. Users can stream television shows and movies for three days, music for seven, and audio books for 21 days. Users are allowed 12 check outs a month, and can check out the same item over and over again if they want to keep re-watch or listen to the product more than the one check out.

Its very different from the way we used to distribute information and entertainment, said Regional Library Director Scott Firestine.

With the Hoopla software, multiple patrons are able to check out the same item simultaneously, making it quicker and easier to get the information they want, when they want it.

It is unlimited simultaneous use. There are no waiting lines, or putting anything on hold. If you want it, you check it out at the time that you want to and its instantly available, Wolfe said.

ARLS will spend $3,000 on the program every six moths to cover the cost of usage. The average cost of each check out with Hoopla is $1.80 for the library, and each time s user checks something out, the $1.80 is deducted from the $3,000 budget.

Its a different sort of model than what libraries are used too. Were used to buying a product and having it forever, but with this program its kind of like leasing the product, Firestine said.

The Hoopla service can be used on devices such as iPads even without data plans as it can stream or download products on wi-fi. The program also allows users to create a favorites list to make it easier to find titles they are interested in.

More than 13,000 new products were added to the library catalog with the introduction of Hoopla in the libraries.

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