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hoopla digital now available for Sanibel Public Library card holders

By Staff | Oct 22, 2015

By MEGHAN McCOY

mmccoy@breezenewspapers.com

Sanibel Public Library began offering its patrons another option for downloading and streaming more than 300,000 titles through hoopla digital.

Executive Director Margaret Mohundro said they began offering hoopla digital at the beginning of October because they wanted to give their patrons yet another format to view media of all kinds.

“People like the choice,” she said. “We want to give patrons what they want in the format they want.”

hoopla digital, owned by Midwest Tape LLC, is a downloadable app that can be added to smartphones and a tablet. It can also be accessed through the computer and Apple TV.

Jeff Jankowski, owner and founder of hoopla digital, said since they went live in the summer of 2013, more than 4,000 public locations in North America began offering the service. Sanibel Public Library is the 16th library in Florida to offer it to their patrons.

The program started, Jankowski said because they wanted to continue to reach the mobile generation.

“We have been serving public libraries for over 25 years,” he said, adding that they wanted to create a service that enabled patrons instant download and stream capabilities for free 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a library card.

When the program was first launched two years ago they offered 75,000 titles and now have 380,000 tittles. Such titles as “The Walking Dead,” “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns,” Ed Sheeran’s “X” and Mumford and Sons “Wilder One” can be found through hoopla digital.

“Our goal is ultimately to offer every title we possibly can on the platform to really give library holders a different experience,” Jankowski said. “Empower them to discover what they want to discover.”

Mohundro said they have worked with Midwest Tape in the past with their audio and video selection.

“This is a new thing that they are offering,” she said of hoopla. “We feel good about their service”

After downloading the hoopla digital app, or opening the page on the computer at www.hoopladigital.com, it will ask to choose a library. The next step includes entering basic account information, such as an email address, password, library card number and a library pin number, which is the last four digits of the library card number.

“Staff is here ready to help,” Mohundro said of those seeking assistance for hoopla digital.

Once registered, patrons have access to various titles in audiobooks, movies, music, comics, eBooks and television series. Mohundro said she is really excited about the graphic novels and comic books because the picture clarity and quality is fantastic.

She said a nice feature about hoopla is there is no waiting for a specific title and individuals can download three things a month.

“We want to ease into it,” Mohundro said regarding the number of downloads. “We don’t want to invest a lot until we see how it’s growing.”

Jankowski said the library sets the lending limit for the monthly usage. He said many libraries increase their item limit as time goes on.

For audio and eBooks, patrons have a 21 day checkout period, music has a seven day period and movies and television series can be checked out for three days.

He said one of the nice features about the program is individuals can download the various formats and read a book, or watch a movie offline taking it wherever they choose.

“It really makes it flexible for the user,” Jankowski said.

Sanibel Public Library first introduced digital media to its patrons in 2010 through eShelf, which consists of downloadable eBooks, audiobooks through Overdrive and online magazines through Zinio. Mohundro said the nice thing about the magazines is it will stay on the device for as long as the patron wants.

Since launching eBooks in 2010 the popularity has grown by 20 percent a year. She said when they receive three holds for one eBook, they purchase another copy, so patrons do not have to wait as long.

Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.