Review by: Leslie Hayes
This week, instead of writing a book review, I wanted to take a minute to introduce a new service for Joplin Public Library patrons. It’s called Hoopla, and it’s a great way to use a variety of electronic resources. Whether you need audiobooks for your commute, want to preview the newest Ariana Grande album, or want to watch a documentary, Hoopla has something for you to enjoy.
Hoopla is similar to Overdrive, the library’s other primary source of eBooks. With Hoopla, you can check out eBooks and eAudiobooks using your library card. However, Hoopla also offers movies, television shows, graphic novels, and music. Hoopla has a wide selection of items for all ages and interests. There’s even a “Kids Mode” setting parents can use to help kids make age-appropriate reading choices. Finding content for the whole family is super easy.
The eBooks and eAudiobooks work similarly to other services. You choose what you want to read, and download it to your device. You can customize the eBook display to what suits your needs best with font sizes and screen color. The eAudiobooks are very easy to use, also. I do wish, however, that the chapters of the eAudiobooks were divided into separate tracks. But, the app will remember where you stop your audiobooks and resume playing where you left off.
The movies available through Hoopla cover an impressive range. From cult classics like the original Suspira to new releases like the amazing documentary RBG, there is certainly something for everyone. Looking for kid-friendly Halloween movies? There’s a category for that. Looking to host a vampire-themed Halloween party? There’s a category for that, too.
Can’t get enough PAW Patrol? Hoopla has you covered. There are plenty of great selections to help keep kiddos happy during road trips over the upcoming holiday season. But there are plenty of options for the adults, too, like Miss Marple and Doc Martin, and if you’re looking to get your heartrate up, pretty much everything Jillian Michaels has released. Looking to learn? Check out the offering from the Great Courses series, which can teach you about pretty much anything you’re interested in, from yoga to robotics.
I love the comics Hoopla offers. Again, the selections cover all age ranges and interests. But it’s how easy they are to read that really makes me love using them. You don’t need a huge e-reader to get the most out of Hoopla’s comics. You can read them in page view, but Hoopla also breaks down each page so you can read them panel by panel, which is great for reading on your phone or for those with visual impairments.
Using Hoopla is also incredibly easy. You can access with an app or at www.hoopladigital.com. You can even access Hoopla with a TV service like Apple TV or Roku. Just create your account, using whatever e-mail address you prefer, you library card number, and your library card PIN number. And then, voila! Access to thousands of electronic resources.
My favorite thing about Hoopla? No waiting list. That’s right. If you see something you want, it’s yours to check out right away. My least favorite thing about Hoopla? The monthly limit on items. I’ll be honest, it has to do with the Library’s budgetary constraints. We only have so much money to spend on Hoopla. But this circles back to another great Hoopla feature. You can add items to your “favorites” list and come back to them when the next month comes around.
Whether you’re an experienced eBook reader or just getting started with the format, I think Hoopla is a great service to use. There are so many options that you’re sure to find something you love. Plus, their content is updating constantly, so there’s always something new to discover. Get started today at www.hoopladigital.com!