CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. — The local public library has taken another step into the digital age by contracting with a digital service provider for content.
The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library, 475 Moe Road, began offering streaming and digital content from Hoopla Digital (aka Hoopla) to its cardholders last month.
The Ohio-based company provides movies, television shows, educational programs, comic books, eBooks, music and audiobooks to libraries across the country.
The streaming content from Hoopla can be used by library card holders living within the district on their personal computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and smart TVs.
Library director Alex Gutelius said the service was a natural progression for the library in its effort to stay up to date with its patrons.
“This is how people are getting their content now,” she said. “For us, with Hoopla, the content is not the movies that are winning the Oscars right now but its good content. They are movies that are a couple years old but still popular, documentaries, educational programs, Disney programs, and TV shows. There’s a ton of content there.”
A quick glance at the Hoopla catalog presented a variety of categories for audiobooks that included biography, mystery, romance, bedtime stories, classics, comedy and action and adventure. The movie offerings were much the same with a variety of titles in the popular category that included, RBG, the movie about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Rewrite, with Hugh Grant and Haywire, with Gina Carano.
Hoopla’s television offerings included titles from A & E Networks, Sesame Street, and the popular British television production company Acorn TV among others. Acorn TV produces Doc Martin, Vera, and Agatha Christie’s Poirot.
“Some of the things we’re excited about with Hoopla are the language learning and the educational videos that are in the catalog,” Gutelius said.
She noted that though the service may be new to the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library, it’s been offered to cardholders in the Schenectady County Public Library and the Saratoga Springs Public Library systems for the last few years.
“A lot of people are still borrowing DVDs, but we noticed a decline in the circulation of them. It wasn’t increasing as it once was,” Gutelius said. “They were still borrowing the DVDs, but they wanted the service so we knew we had to go into video streaming. We knew we had to get it.”
To access the service one can either go to the library’s website and find Hoopla near the bottom of the page under Digital Content or go to the Hoopla site directly. Once there one must set up an account using their library card. Hoopla will verify that card is a registered patron of the library.
Once one has entered the website, they can visit the Hoopla catalog and browse the titles in each category. Titles can be streamed immediately or downloaded to phones and tablets for use offline.
Patrons can borrow up to four items per month and must be a library-district resident with an account in good standing, outstanding fines of less than $10.
The loan periods vary. The loaned items will automatically expire at the end of the loan period as a loaned eBook expires.
“In the age of Netflix, Hulu and Prime, people don’t want to wait to watch a movie or binge watch a popular TV show,” Gutelius said. “We have a cap of four titles per month for each library card. If there’s a lot of use, we’ll have to reassess.”
Hoopla can be accessed through the library’s website at www.cphlibrary.org under the digital content banner near the bottom of the page, or by downloading the app to one’s device. From there, patrons will receive a prompt to create an account using their current Clifton Park-Halfmoon library card.
The Hoopla website is www.hoopladigital.com.