EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 22, 2014

What's all the 'hoopla' about?

Libraries offer free streaming/downloading of movies and music

HAVERHILL — There are still many good reasons to stop by the public library, however there are a growing number of reasons to stay home.

Beginning next month, the library will offer a new online service for streaming and downloading free movies,TV programs, full-length music CDs and audiobooks.

Called Hoopla, the Netflix-style of service offers thousands of titles for viewing on your smartphone, tablet or computer. And you won’t have to worry about paying a late fee ever again. When your rental time is up, your selection is automatically returned.

When Hoopla goes live on Feb. 3, the Haverhill Public Library will become the second library in the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium to offer the service. Library officials said the town of Andover began offering it several months ago. The next closest towns that are currently offering this new service are Wilmington and Stratham, N.H.

“This will become a permanent service if patrons like it, if not we can cancel it,” assistant library director Sarah Moser said about the service which the library is paying for.

The selection of movies is limited at this time, so don’t expect to have access to the latest blockbuster hits, but the offerings will grow over time, Moser said.

Angela Archer was at the library yesterday looking to rent a DVD movie for disabled adults at a group home she works at. She said having the ability to stream or download a video means not having to visit the library during times when it is busy, such as the day before a snowstorm.

“This could cut down on the mad rush for movies on snow days,” Archer said. “We can all stay in a watch a movie and have popcorn.”

Patrons will need a library card as registering for Hoopla will require your card’s PIN number as well as your email address.

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