Accessing the multimedia available at your local library no longer requires leaving the house. All you need is the Hoopla app. But, you’ll still need a library card.
The Hoopla app grants instant access to up to 170,000 movies, TV shows, albums, and audiobooks via your local library in the United States and Canada. Ironically, the library-connected app doesn’t currently support e-books. But, those are on the product roadmap.
While library online lending services like Overdrive only allows a library to lend a finite amount of digital copies, Hoopla grants access to everything available from the library without having to wait in a digital queue. This is due to developer Midwest Tape’s long history as a source for books and other media for libraries. The company is able to leverage its relationships with big name content creators like Warner Bros. to give you instant access to media via its app.
It currently has 150 licensing agreements and is adding approximately 15 more agreements per month.
But, it’s not an all-you-can-eat experience like Netflix or Spotify. Public libraries set limits on how many items you can borrow in a month. For example, the San Francisco public library allows 10 items to be borrowed a month. But at the price tag of zero dollars–beyond what you’re already paying in taxes for your local library–it’s still a spectacular service.
The biggest stumbling block is that your local library has to support the Hoopla app. The app is currently supported by 280 libraries that include San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles. You can can check if your library supports the app via this handy map.
In the age of the internet, libraries seem like quaint windows into the past. With apps like Hoopla, the quietest building in town is breaking into the app-centric present.