The hoopla is about hoopla. And not only hoopla, but a few other services that we’re excited to offer.

What am I talking about?

In January 2021, hoopla was added to the services the Knox County Public Library offers. Hoopla is a lot like Overdrive, with ebooks and audiobooks to check out, but hoopla also has movies, television shows, music, comic books and older literature. While Overdrive would be the app to use if you like to read bestsellers, hoopla is the place to go if you want something different. Like Overdrive, hoopla has an app that uses your name and library card number as the login. With hoopla, you get six checkouts per month. Add that to the three per month with Overdrive, and you can check out nine digital items per month using both of these services.

Unlike Overdrive, with its limited number of items available for checkout, hoopla has over 900,000 items available for use all the time. The library pays a per-use fee for hoopla items, instead of buying books to add to the collection, like we do with Overdrive. Hoopla is an economical way to provide even more items for you and only pay for items that patrons use. When the pandemic hit, we realized the importance of providing digital resources. More than a few people have told me that ebooks were a life-saver while the library was closed.

During the pandemic, the library operated differently than it ever had before. Grab-n-go services made it easier for patrons to pick up books when the operating hours were cut; a smiling face greeted everyone at the front door when those doors finally opened up to the public, and phones were answered by a dedicated staffer. Now that the library is almost back to normal, some changes are permanent.

A few of those permanent changes are scan-to-fax service, scan-to-email service, and mobile printing. After looking at several vendors it was discovered that the copy machine already in the library could be converted for the scanning services. This was a pleasant surprise because it was much easier to set up and much cheaper. The greatest feature of these services is that they can be offered free of charge.

Adding mobile printing was also an easy task, since this was an add-on service already available from Envisionware, the software company that provides public computer access. To print from a mobile device, you first install the PrinterOn app by Envisionware. After printing, you log into the print station inside the library to actually print the documents.

The pandemic has changed the way the library operates. Since government offices aren’t as accessible as they used to be, and since they are increasingly inaccessible by phone, more and more patrons are relying on cellphones to print forms and conduct business. The library had to adapt. But for us, discovering how we can change to meet patron needs has been exciting.

Visit the library and discover what the hoopla is all about.

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