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Come See Us at ALA in Chicago

The ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition is on the horizon, taking place in Chicago June 22-27. We’ve made our travel plans, and we’re looking forward to connecting with our many library partners. So come see us! You can get all the latest information on Midwest Tape, hoopla digital, and Dreamscape Media at Booth #4420. Our booth hours are as follows:

Friday, June 23:                 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Saturday, June 24            9:00am – 5:00pm

Sunday, June 25               9:00am – 5:00pm

Monday, June 26             9:00am – 2:00pm

We’ll have a few special guests making appearances at our booth as well. Stop by and have a book signed!

Sarah Beth Durst has written several novels for young adults, and burst onto the adult fantasy fiction scene in 2016 with The Queen of Blood, winner of a 2017 Alex Award from ALA/YALSA. The second book in the Queens of Renthia series, The Reluctant Queen, will be released on July 4. She will be at our booth on Saturday from 2:00 to 3:00pm.

Shea Fontana has written for the animated children’s TV show Doc McStuffins and the movie Twinkle Toes Lights Up New York, among many others. One other project she’s been involved with is DC Super Hero Girls, and her latest outing is the graphic novel Summer Olympus, featuring Wonder Woman! You’ll find her at our booth on Sunday from 10:00 to 11:00am.

Kate White is a bestselling author of mystery and thriller novels whose most recent release, The Secrets You Keep, released in March of this year. This fall she’ll release Even if It Kills Her, the first new installment in her popular Bailey Weggins mystery series in five years. She will be at our booth on Sunday afternoon from 3:30 to 4:30pm.

Dates and times for these author appearances are subject to change, so be sure to stop by our booth ahead of time to make sure they still hold. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

hoopla Is Great for Summer Reading!

With Victoria Day behind us in Canada and Memorial Day coming up in the United States, there’s no denying that summer is on its way. If the kids in your community aren’t yet out of school for the season, they will be soon.

Which means it’s time for summer reading! Libraries have offered summer reading programs since the 1890s to keep children engaged and bridge the gap between the end of the school year in summer and when it begins again in the fall. The ALA website asserts that summer reading programs help to keep kids’ skills up during their time off, encourage reluctant readers (audiobooks and comics are excellent in this area, as well), and engender reading as a lifetime habit. Some of my own fondest memories from childhood summers involve entering the cool hush of the library from the bright heat outside and wandering among the shelves, picking out a giant stack of books to take home and read.

Spending time at the library is priceless, and that’s never been more true than it is today. But if your library participates in hoopla, it makes summer reading even easier, more convenient, and more fun! Kids can now take home slightly smaller stacks of books, thanks to the great content available on hoopla. That’s also nice for road trips—no need to take a ton of physical books along when you have access to so many on a phone or tablet! They can also check out something new as soon as they’re finished with what they have, even if they’re out of town with family or when the library is closed for the night. And when it’s time for a change of pace, they can always supplement their regular reading with an audiobook or a comic or graphic novel.

Kids are attached to their devices, while their parents, teachers, and even doctors are concerned about the amount of time they spend in front of screens. It can be especially difficult to manage during the summer, when their time is less structured. Combining hoopla and summer reading is a win-win in this area as well. Kids can still use their devices as they immerse themselves in an eBook, audiobook, or comic through the hoopla app. There’s plenty of content to keep them occupied, from Sesame Street eBooks for the youngest readers through to the DC Rebirth comics series for the older crowd.

Supercharge your library’s summer reading program with hoopla digital. If you aren’t currently using hoopla, you can visit library.hoopladigital.com to learn more, or call 800.875.2785 with any questions.

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!

New hoopla digital 4.0 Website Release!

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Hello to All Library Partners:
We have some BIG news for you regarding the hoopla digital website, www.hoopladigital.com!
You’ll be seeing the latest site evolution in the next couple of days. The new hoopla 4.0 is scheduled for release Sept. 8, 2016, and we think both you and your patrons will find it as exciting as we do. One huge thing you’ll notice immediately is that the new site will truly be “our website,” co-branded with library partner names! After all, without you, hoopla digital just wouldn’t be possible.
More than the “facelift” that initially meets the eye, the new hoopla 4.0 features useful functional enhancements:

  • More robust content discovery tools

Quick links to borrowed titles, favorites and history, as well as to each of the formats your library supports, create better, more personal user experiences. Users will be able, also, to learn more about the hoopla story.

  • Faster, more responsive browsing

Whether you’re browsing on a phone or tablet, your mobile browsing experience will be faster and more responsive. As more patrons use mobile browsers, this will be a huge feature in their favor!

  • Filtering feature for more targeted exploration

Filtering and updated category landing pages allow for quick browsing of collections and genres. Based on search preference, there are a number of filtering options from which the user can choose.

  • Built-in audio players

No more new tabs or windows just to listen and browse! Audio players for music and audiobooks are now built right into the page, and can be played immediately while browsing.

  • Updated Registration process

We’ve streamlined the registration process, simplifying the experience for new users!
Patrons will be logged out on browsers
Patrons will need to log in using their email and password (which they may or may not remember).  We’ll be glad to help in response to password inquiries, or patrons can use the “Forgot password” link to change it themselves. 
Please note also: If they’ve previously stored their password in their browser, they simply have to click the email sign in box, then click on their email that pops up and it will automatically fill in both their email and password for them.  Then they can just click login.
Tell your patrons, and be sure to watch for this release to come soon and the evolution to continue.
Thank you, as always, for your continued support and trust!