By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT
Patrons of Hays Public Library now can borrow from the catalog anywhere in the word with the click of a button.
Hoopla, a digital streaming service similar to Netflix, debuts today through the library. Its patrons can access the website and rent free movies, television shows, audio books and music albums. Selections can be borrowed on computers, iPhones, iPads and Android devices.
Marleah Augustine, adult department librarian, said there are thousands of choices in each category. Movies and TV programs can be checked-out for three days, music for a week and audio books for three weeks.
There are no overdue fines because rentals expire automatically. Each patron is entitled to five rentals a month, and each title is available one at a time for all users. Internet access is necessary for downloads, but they can be played offline anywhere.
The new program reflects library users' modern needs.
"I think it helps us just stay current and stay up to date with what people are wanting because being a public library, we're here to serve the public," Augustine said.
Hoopla also is about convenience of access.
"Not everyone has Netflix, not everyone wants to drive to Redbox," she said.
Adult library cards are needed to rent R-rated movies.
James Gross, Victoria, said being able to use the service without an Internet connection appealed to him because it would be good for traveling.
"It'd definitely be something that'd be worth checking out," Gross said.
Hoopla can be accessed with a library card number and a password provided by the front desk.