Thanks to a partnership with digital media service Hoopla, the Houston Public Library has added thousands of new film, television, music and audiobook titles to its catalog . . . and all you need is a library card to stream them to your computer, tablet or smartphone for free.
With Hoopla — a sort of Netflix-style platform specifically designed for library borrowing — users simply enter their registered HPL info to gain instant access to everything from Lady Gaga's new Artpop album to nearly 20 Ken Burns documentaries.
Cardholders can borrow up to four titles a month on the Hoopla website or through the company's free apps for Android and Apple iOS. There are options either to stream materials or, for those moments away from an Internet connection, download them directly onto a computer or mobile device.
Users can get everything from Lady Gaga's Artpop album to Ken Burns documentaries.
Videos can be rented for three days, music for a week and audiobooks for three weeks.
“It is our mission to help public libraries meet the needs of the mobile generation," says Hoopla founder Jeff Jankowski. "We’ve worked for years to create a best-in-breed service that is fun, fast and reliable. And we continue to secure content deals to expand the offering of movies, TV shows, music and audiobooks."
A quick browse through the Hoopla television choices reveals a host of BBC programming (including the original Office series), nature docs from National Geographic, and an array of TV classics like Dark Shadows and the Beverly Hillbillies.
While the selection of new movies could use a little help, the service offers an impressive collection of French films, kid flicks and American dramas from the 1990s (Lorenzo's Oil, This Boy's Life). Music fans and audiobook "readers" will be pleasantly surprised.
You can click here to get a Houston Public Library card.