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Celebrate 15 Years of The Walking Dead

On October 8, 2003, The Walking Dead issue #1 hit comic shops everywhere. Kicking off with small-town sheriff Rick Grimes awakening from a coma in the midst of a burgeoning undead apocalypse, it helped start a snowball effect to begin the zombie craze that is still building to this day. Now, fifteen years later, The Walking Dead is still going strong as a comic series, with issue #184 releasing recently and creator Robert Kirkman saying the end is still “far away off.” It has also spawned a highly popular television show, which just kicked off its ninth season, and a spinoff series, Fear the Walking Dead, whose fourth season ended on September 30.

To celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the first issue’s release, this Saturday, October 13, has been designated as Walking Dead Day. Comic shops everywhere will be taking part with special events and giveaways, but there’s no reason why your library can’t join the fun! With hoopla, longtime Walking Dead fans can revisit favorite issues from the series, while newcomers can start from the beginning and read all the way though! Our collection of Walking Dead comics currently comprises thirty compilations, and will continue to grow as the series continues. It spans from Days Gone Bye, which collects that original first issue, all the way through New World Order, the most recent edition that goes through issue #180, published in June. It also includes the special edition Here’s Negan, exploring the charismatic villain’s backstory, as well as the Survivors’ Guide, an exploration of the series’ characters.

The Walking Dead began its life in the comic format, but it has expanded into other areas of publishing as well. In 2011, Robert Kirkman teamed up with writer Jay Bonansinga for the novel Rise of the Governor, which brought the backstory of that intriguing antagonist to life. It was followed by The Road to Woodbury and The Fall of the Governor Parts 1 and 2 to round out the story arc. From there, Bonansinga continued on with four more novels: Descent, Invasion, Search and Destroy, and Return to Woodbury. Fans of the comic series and the show won’t want to miss these stories that delve into the niches of beloved characters and settings, and the audiobooks linked above are all available on hoopla.

And there’s plenty more Walking Dead content available on hoopla as well—starting with Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the soundtrack to the show, whose musical selection really adds to the haunted atmosphere. In the eBook format, patrons who love trivia will enjoy quiz books that cover the various seasons of the show, as well as an exploration of the comic series, a collection of quick facts about the comics and the show,  and even a rumination on the philosophy expounded in the show. Needless to say, whether a patrons is a longtime fan of The Walking Dead or checking it out for the first time, hoopla is the perfect companion for Walking Dead Day!

Transition into Fall with hoopla

Although there are still technically three weeks left in the season, the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. means the unofficial end of summer is upon us. The pools may be closed and school may be back in session, but there’s still plenty to look forward to as the days grow shorter and the leaves start to change color.

Your patrons can count on hoopla for a wide range of back-to-school needs. Educational STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) titles in audiobook, eBook, television, and even music give kids numerous great ways to find help or simply explore a variety of subjects. Students can also borrow quite a bit of classic literature they may find on their required reading lists, on both eBook and audiobook. And those classics aren’t just for students, of course—they’re great reads for anyone! Along those same lines, adults interested in continuing education or looking to dive into a specific topic can find a collection of STEAM titles geared toward them on hoopla as well.

There’s plenty of other stuff going on that can be enjoyed, enhanced, or celebrated with the great content on hoopla as well. There's still time to check out our hoopla Book Club spotlight selection, Tangerine by Christine Mangan, before our fall title is selected. PBS is conducting the Great American Read in an effort to determine the best-loved novels across the country, and a number of included books are available on hoopla for those who would like to participate (and don’t forget about our selection of great PBS television titles). September is also designated as both Classical Music Month and National Yoga Month, with plenty of related content for patrons to explore. And finally, the annual Banned Books Week event will be observed September 23-29, and you can expect a curated collection of banned and challenged works available on hoopla later in the month.

We hope you and your patrons have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. And remember—although your library may be closed on Monday, patrons can borrow materials and stay connected through hoopla on all their mobile devices. There they’ll find all the content they need for their end-of-summer celebrations, as well as everything that comes next.

March into Spring with hoopla

If you could almost hear the familiar opening strains of Vivaldi’s “Spring” when you flipped the calendar over to March, you’re certainly not alone. The vernal equinox is just days away, with the promise of warmer weather on the horizon. Of course, even aside from the changing of the seasons, March offers a number of celebrations and observances, and hoopla is here with plenty of materials related to each of them.

Most notably, March is recognized as Women’s History Month. In the wake of the ongoing cultural transformation represented by the Women’s March and the #MeToo movement, which have brought increased attention to the issues of gender discrimination and sexual violence, hoopla is celebrating Women’s History Month with a series of collections across all our media formats. Included titles highlight women creators, such as in our music collection, as well as both fiction and non-fiction explorations of women’s history, as in our movie and TV, audiobook, and eBook collections. And don’t overlook the comics collection, which features some incredible female heroes—not to mention authors and illustrators.

Although less well known, March is also National Reading Awareness Month, a designation sure to be near and dear to every library’s core mission. The purpose is to promote literacy by encouraging parents, guardians, and other caregivers to read aloud to babies and children for at least fifteen minutes per day. Studies have shown that doing so can vastly improve a child’s literacy skills and prepare their minds for learning when they enter school. hoopla, with its 24/7 access to thousands of age-appropriate eBooks for children, can be a valuable tool for parents as they strive to accomplish this goal. Our wide selection of juvenile fiction and non-fiction eBooks will provide any number of perfect reading choices, and the read-along feature available on a number of eBooks can help children as they transition into reading for themselves as well.

To go along with these month-long observances, a handful of individual days stand out this month. First up is the Ides of March, made famous as the assassination day of Julius Caesar. That’s the perfect day for the famous play by William Shakespeare, available in both audiobook and eBook, as well as the novel by Thornton Wilder. A much less ominous occasion follows, with St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday. Patrons can find a collection of Celtic music perfect for their festivities, as well as plenty of other materials related to the holiday and to Ireland itself. Later in the month, March 25 is Tolkien Reading Day, when patrons can use hoopla to read The Hobbit or listen to the epic Lord of the Rings series, among other Tolkien offerings.

Finally, make sure patrons know they can check out and watch Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. hoopla’s Movie of the Month is another in a long line of delightfully dark and twisted films directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter. And, as always, they can keep their eyes on the hoopla digital app and website for incredible new content and collections added daily, all available 24/7 with no holds and no waiting.

Start a Literary Affair on hoopla

When it’s cold and dreary outside, it’s the perfect time to stay inside where it’s warm and get cozy with a good book (or audiobook), and hoopla is here to help. For the weeks running through Valentine’s Day, we’ve teamed up with Harlequin and Avon to bring library patrons the very best of romance! Each week’s collections feature the latest releases from bestselling romance authors, available in eBook and audiobook. So spread the word to your patrons—with simultaneous borrowing, they won’t have to wait to find their next happily ever after.

This week’s theme is Historical Romance, with tales of love and passion set in various eras from the past. The audiobook and eBook collections are live now on hoopla’s website and mobile apps. See below for themes for upcoming weeks:

January 23: Contemporary Romance

January 30: Romantic Suspense

February 6: Paranormal Romance

February 13: Best of Romance

hoopla is your patrons’ destination for all things romance. Happy reading!

The Best of 2017 on hoopla

There are only a handful of days left in December, which means it’s time for holiday parties, pondering resolutions…and year-end best-of lists! With that in mind, we’re pleased to present collections showcasing favorite content for each format on hoopla for 2017. Unlike so many organizations that give you a list of their own favorites, these collections contain the titles that circulated the best with hoopla users. So browse these collections to see what your patrons have been into, and share them to make sure no one misses out on these great titles.

Movies: hoopla is the perfect go-to resource when it’s time for an impromptu movie night. You can find action (Haywire), suspense (Shutter Island), drama (100 Streets), comedy (School of Rock), and romance (Ben & Ara), all in one place! There are animated titles like All Dogs Go to Heaven for the kids, and live-action movies like Agent Cody Banks that the whole family can enjoy. One of our most popular titles is a look behind the scenes at the Broadway smash hit Hamilton!

TV: Binge-watching television episodes is all the rage, and hoopla has patrons covered with our wide selection of shows. This area is particularly strong for kids with Nickelodeon content that includes SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. Lifelong learners will love Great Courses series like The Art of Investing, as well as PBS shows like Genius by Stephen Hawking. There’s also quite a variety of grown-up entertainment, such as The Dead Zone and, of course, The Librarians.

And don’t forget! Watching on your mobile device is great when you’re on the go, but when you’re at home and want to watch on the big screen, hoopla movies and television can be enjoyed on Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku streaming boxes, as well as cast from your device to a Chromecast.

Music: The hottest music of the year is on hoopla, and it shows in this collection. Ed Sheeran? Check. Chris Stapleton? Check. Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Jay-Z? Check, check, and check. Lorde and Lana Del Rey? Yep, we have them too. Music lovers will find compilations, soundtracks, even kids’ tunes, and more. And although it came out too late in the year to break into our favorites list, we also have the new Taylor Swift album, Reputation, sure to be popular well into 2018.

Audiobooks: Having a story read to you is one of life’s great small pleasures, and the ever-increasing popularity of audiobooks is a testament to that. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry has been on the bestseller lists since its release. You can also catch Agatha Christie’s classic mystery Murder on the Orient Express, read by Kenneth Branagh, director and star of the movie adaptation currently in theaters. There’s plenty of romance, self-help, and much, much more.

eBooks: Listening to an audiobook is wonderful, but sometimes you want to kick back in the quiet and absorb the written word. This year’s favorites in eBooks run the gamut from kids’ fiction like Rick Riordan’s Ship of the Dead to contemporary adult fiction like Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done to short story collections like Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women. There’s poetry from Rupi Kaur, yoga inspiration from Jessamyn Stanley, and self-help from Brendon Burchard. There’s a great title in here for every reader and every mood.

Comics: Anyone who likes comics will find something to get excited about on this list, and it’s a great place to start for those looking to get into the format as well. You’ll find iconic characters like Wonder Woman, installments in popular series like The Walking Dead, movie adaptations like Coco, standalones like Love Is Love, and so much more. With hoopla’s revolutionary Action View, these outstanding comics and graphic novels come to life on patrons’ screens and devices.

hoopla  is the perfect companion for this time of year. Being able to escape into an eBook or put some music on in the car can make holiday travel much more bearable, and it keeps the library accessible during holiday closures or limited hours. We hope you and your patrons enjoy these favorites, and that they make your winter season that much brighter! We look forward to bringing you even more outstanding media content in 2018.

hoopla for the Holiday

With Justice League in theaters and poised to have another strong weekend, now is the perfect time to remind patrons of all the great DC Comics content available to them on hoopla. There are plenty of new and popular titles featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, and even Cyborg—all the superheroes from the movie! There’s even A Very DC Rebirth Holiday, a collection of seasonal superhero tales for those already getting into the yuletide spirit. Patrons can also find Danny Elfman’s incredible Justice League soundtrack, as well as plenty of other related content.

And speaking of the holidays, did you know that the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest times of the year for reading? That makes hoopla the perfect travel companion, with a wealth of comics and eBooks available 24/7. Right now you can find collections perfect for kids, eBooks that help to make holiday entertaining a breeze, and, of course, all the other content patrons know and love. It’s also the busiest travel season of the year, and playing some music or an audiobook can make a long drive or flight much more pleasant.

From all of us here at hoopla, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Agatha Christie on hoopla

With Murder on the Orient Express currently going strong into its second weekend in theaters, now is a great time to remind or point out to patrons the wide selection of Agatha Christie content available on hoopla! Start with the audiobook of the original novel, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who directs the new film and stars as Christie’s famed detective Hercule Poirot. From there, hoopla users can browse through a full collection of Christie’s mysteries on audiobook with a variety of narrators, while those who prefer the printed word can also check out her short stories and a number of other works, including her autobiography, on eBook.

The late British author (1890-1976) is the world’s bestselling novelist of all time, and her work has been translated into more than 100 languages. Murder on the Orient Express is the latest in a long line of film and TV adaptations of her work, including David Suchet’s acclaimed portrayal of Poirot and ITV’s Marple series, both of which can be borrowed from hoopla. Needless to say, mystery fans and Agatha Christie devotees will have plenty to choose from, no matter their preferred format, so be sure to point them toward hoopla today!

Paramount Pictures—now on hoopla!

Great news: As of November 1, select movies from Paramount Pictures are now available for patrons in the U.S. to check out and watch on hoopla Digital! The wide-ranging collection currently includes such popular films as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, An Inconvenient Truth, Dead Man Walking, and School of Rock. Make sure your patrons know about this great new addition to hoopla’s content lineup, available at their fingertips 24/7, with no holds and no late fees.

Titles in this collection are subject to change, so check back often to see what new movies are available!

hoopla for All Occasions

hoopla digital is a great tool for everyday use—an audiobook for your commute, a workout soundtrack for your trip to the gym—but it can also be the perfect way to mark a special occasion or event. Here are just a few of the ways hoopla can help with things that are going on now or coming up soon.

There are still nearly three weeks left in May, which since 1949 has been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health can be a difficult subject for many people to deal with, but hoopla can help. We have collections of movies and TV shows, eBooks, and audiobooks that explore various aspects of mental health. This can be a very useful starting point for patrons who may not have anywhere else to turn.

Dating back to 2006, May has also been recognized as Jewish American Heritage Month, honoring the contributions made by those of the Jewish faith to the history and culture of the United States. To that end, we’ve put together a collection of movies that fit the bill, including classics like Yentl and Fiddler on the Roof.

Everyone knows that Mother’s Day is this weekend…right? Don’t forget about Mom! To help, hoopla has a collection of eBooks all dedicated to the joys and trials of being a mom, as well as an audiobook collection focusing on mothers and daughters. And for patrons lucky enough to be spending some time with Mom this weekend, they can check out an album or two from this selection for tunes that are the perfect companion for the perfect day.

Speaking of music, hoopla is always the go-to source for the hottest new tunes. Patrons can log in every #NewMusicFriday for all the day’s new releases. Already this month we’ve added the second album from country music powerhouse Chris Stapleton, and today sees the release of the Bob’s Burgers Music Album, an eclectic collection of whimsical songs from the hit animated TV show performed by a variety of artists.

Whatever the occasion, hoopla has something to go along with it. And the best part? Patrons can access it 24/7, with no worrying about holds. It’s always at your fingertips—literally!