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What’s all the hoopla about hoopla?

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Library launches new free digital service

By Stephanie Jadrnicek

The Lancaster County Public Library is launching hoopla, a digital media service that allows library members to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows.
With hoopla, library patrons will have free access to more than 750,000 titles.
Lancaster Library Director Rita Vogel said the launch is timely because the Lancaster branch recently moved into a temporary location at the Barnett Building while the permanent building undergoes renovations.
“We really had to cut down on our collection and our services,” Vogel said. “So I felt that when we had to lose some things that I can give something in addition to what they had before to make up for it.”
The hoopla subscription will cost the library approximately $12,000 to $14,000 and will be paid through a recent funding increase from the state legislature, Vogel said.
“We were receiving $1.75 per capita, and we’re now receiving $2 per capita,” she said. “So that gives me enough money to buy a subscription from hoopla.”
With the subscription, the library pays $3 per download and each library member is allowed three downloads per month. Vogel said there are downloads for the entire family.
“There’s high-demand things kids are interested in,” she said. “They just added ‘Highlights’ magazine for kids, and you can also watch movies.”
Content can be streamed from any computer, television, mobile device or platform by downloading the hoopla digital app for iOS, Android, AppleTV, Chromecast or Roku. Hoopla digital focuses on the latest browser, phone, tablet and TV products to deliver the best possible experience to each user.
The hoopla digital collection includes popular movies, newly released albums, New York Times bestselling titles and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) educational content.
“Hoopla offers simultaneous borrowing. You don’t have to wait for your selection,” Vogel said. “Patrons can borrow, instantly stream and download content with a valid library card. Once downloaded onto a device, they can take it home to enjoy, even without an internet signal.”
Hoopla is not affiliated with SCLends, the statewide integrated library system. It is a product of Midwest Tape and is only available to members of subscribing libraries, such as Lancaster’s.
Vogel said she will monitor the analytics of the subscription to assess its usage, and based on that information she will decide whether to continue the subscription after the library renovations are completed.
The Lancaster branch hosted a Hoopla Launch Party on Sept. 3 at the Barnett Building, 1228 Colonial Commons Court in Lancaster.
For more information, call (803) 285-1502.