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Time to try Hoopla Digital?

Tom Jackson • Jul 3, 2014 at 5:49 PM

The Sandusky Library is going to be closed through the holiday weekend — i.e., Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

So this might be a good time to take a closer look at the library services that are available 24/7 for folks with Internet access. You can read about all of them on the library's home page, but I want to focus for a moment on one of the newest and most promising — Hoopla Digital.

Probably because it is so new, Hoopla has had some bugs crop up as it deploys in various libraries. My experience has been that it works fine on computers. Sometimes it works well on smart phones, and sometimes it doesn't.

But it's worth a try, because it has so many offerings. There are lots of audiobooks, lots of movies, TV shows and music records. The TV shows and movies won't necessarily be all of the biggest hits, but there are still plenty of commercial releases. (If you lean more toward "snob films," i.e. foreign movies and independent productions, try the library's online Indieflix offering.)

Hoopla has a FAQ on its site explaining how to use it. To watch the movies and TV shows on a computer, you'll have to download a browser plugin available for Windows and Macintosh. Linux uses can try these instructions for Ubuntu, but if you can't get it to run, don't ask me. You can watch movies and TV shows on your smartphone using your Hoopla Digital app.

I've experimented with using Hoopla with Google Chromecast. If you want information on how to watch Hoopla movies and TV shows on your TV, see this posting from the Indian Prairie Public Library and this article.

The Sandusky Library's home page has information on all of the library's online offerings (books! music! audiobooks! magazines!) and "cheat sheets" explaining how to use them. 

UPDATE: Hoopla Digital is an example of the benefit of living in a state with well-funded libraries. It's not available at present in any libraries in Oklahoma, my home state. 

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