The Hoopla service is only offered by a small number of libraries, so Sandusky Library will be an early adopter, said Sam Chada, director of communications and technology. “I’m sure you’ll enjoy it,” predicted Marilyn Zielinksi, manager of technical services for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, which already offers Hoopla.
Sandusky Library currently offers digital books, audiobooks and music to its patrons through a service called Overdrive. There are considerable differences between Overdrive, which the library will continue to offer, and Hoopla.
Overdrive allows patrons to download ebooks and audiobooks to a device and then play them, even when an Internet connection is not available. Hoopla allows some downloads but mostly relies upon streaming. Overdrive works for both older and newer devices, but Hoopla users must have up-to-date Apple and Android gadgets.
On the other hand, Overdrive has checkout limits, and patrons seeking popular titles must go on waiting lists. Hoopla has no such limits — if an item is listed, it is available immediately to any qualified library patron who wants it.
That’s an important point in Hoopla’s favor, Zielinski said.
“Hoopla is always available,” she said. “If you were in a group and you all wanted to watch the same movie or watch the same television show or listen to the same book, you can all do that.”
Zielinksi said her library began offering Hoopla last spring as a beta test library.
Getting started was difficult at first, but Hoopla fixed that, she said.
“I haven’t had any questions on ‘How do I sign up?’ for some time,” she said.
Chada said that a $100,000 Dorn Foundation grant over four years for digital services will help pay for Hoopla. She said details such as the Hoopla launch date and borrowing limits for patrons will be announced after negotiations wrap up with Hoopla.