Arts & Culture

Hoopla Digital: Your tablet’s new best friend

By Jen Schaefer

Special to the Herald

Are you a book lover on an endless quest for quality eBooks to read on your tablet? Maybe you’re on a budget and searching for free or inexpensive titles you won’t want to delete from your device after the first three pages. Or you might be a movie or music buff who can’t keep your tablet stocked with enough of the latest digital tunes or films to satisfy your inner geek.

The Manatee County Public Library has come to the rescue by offering a new digital lending service to the community. Hoopla is a digital content provider of eBooks, e-audiobooks, music, movies and more, all accessible with your library card. These are not the bottom-of-the-remainder-bin leftovers or the self-published/no-editor freebies that dominate the discount titles lists. Hoopla has an extensive catalog of the latest and best in digital content. You don’t even need to visit the library once you have your card.

Want to binge-read “The Walking Dead” graphic novels while waiting for next season’s television premiere? You can do that with Hoopla. Want to borrow the latest album from Gwen Stefani during your dinner party? You can do that too with Hoopla. Or you can borrow any one of thousands of eBooks, e-audiobooks, movies, music albums, TV series or digital comics. With Hoopla, there’s no waiting for your titles to come in. Unlike many eBook lending services, you have instant access to the entire catalog of titles anywhere you have a wi-fi connection. And it’s free with your library card.

With your Hoopla account, you may borrow eight titles per calendar month. The loan period is three weeks for eBooks, e-audiobooks and digital comics. Music may be borrowed for a one-week period, and movies and television series are loaned for three days. Download your titles to your device. There’s no streaming, so you can watch, read or listen anywhere. The titles remain on the device until the due date, and will be returned automatically at that time. There’s no need to worry about late fees.

To access free content from Hoopla, you will need an Apple, Android or Kindle Fire device or computer and a Manatee County library card. Visit and click the blue “Log In” button to begin setting up an account. You may also download and install the Hoopla Digital app to your Kindle Fire, Apple or Android device. Browse the Hoopla catalog by category and genre, or enter a search by author, artist or title. Make a selection, download and start enjoying.

For more information about Hoopla, contact your local library.

Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday. Jen Schaefer is a reference librarian at the Manatee County Central Library.