- Hoopla is a cloud-based digital library service that offers streaming movies and TV shows, music, and audiobooks to people with a public library membership.
- Hoopla provides around 250,000 albums and 10,000 TV shows, movies, and audiobooks, with more being added regularly.
- The Hoopla service is only available to public library users in cities that sign up for it and may impose limits on how much you can borrow.
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More and more public libraries are opting into digital systems that offer members the ability to read, watch, and listen to media from the comfort of their own homes or devices — and for a good reason.
With physical library usage trending downwards over the past decade and tech use up, having a way to get books, research materials, and other media you typically find at your local branch into your hands quickly and easily can reduce personal costs, frustration, and shipping waste.
Hoopla, a cloud-based digital library service, aims to do just that.
What is Hoopla?
Similar to Zinio and IndieFlix, the Hoopla platform links with public library systems across the US and Canada that opt into it. That association, following Hoopla’s launch, has allowed members to stream around 250,000 albums and 10,000 videos on demand when they finish signing up.
You’ll need to register for a Hoopla account via the Hoopla Digital website, entering your login information, your local library, and your membership number. Once your registration is complete, you can immediately begin borrowing.
How to borrow from Hoopla
How many electronic items you’re allowed to check out every month depends on your specific library’s policies. While there are no late fees, each of your items will have an expiration date and be automatically returned once that date passes.
At the current time, Audiobooks and eBooks are rented for 21 days, while music has a 7-day rental period and movies and TV shows are available for 72 hours from the time of renting. You can renew a rental up to two days before the current period ends, but it will count as a new rental and be subtracted from your monthly allowance.
Account-holders can use tools like Kids Mode — which restricts browse and search results to kid-appropriate content — and Auto Lend Holds, which lets Hoopla check out titles for you automatically after held titles become available, to automate and improve their selection.
But Hoopla doesn’t have waitlists, and there’s no limit on how many users can “check out” a specific title at any given time.
What you should know before you use the Hoopla service
It’s certainly convenient for those who want to consume media on the go, but Hoopla does have limitations.
The service shouldn’t be considered a replacement for traditional libraries. While its offerings are extensive, they’re by no means complete and may not represent what’s physically available at your local branch.
Though offline access to material is possible, the number of compatible devices is short of extensive. Moreover, not every library has opted-in to the service, so many library cardholders won’t get access.