The library has long been a resource for borrowing movies and books on CD, but now the Harrison County Library System is taking that an electronic step farther.
Through a partnership with Hoopla Digital, patrons with a valid library card and an app can access thousands of movies, television shows, music albums and audiobooks, ebooks and comics. There’s no waiting time or trip to the brick-and-mortar building, and the automatic return feature eliminates late fees.
“These are going to be older releases, nothing brand new, but there’s a really good selection,” said Mike Alexander, head librarian of Gulfport. “This is a great resource for book clubs and school teachers, too, because any number of people can borrow a title at a time. You don’t have to wait for somebody else to return it.”
A recent scan through the Harrison County offerings included the films “Akeelah and the Bee,” “Whale Rider,” “A Walk in the Woods,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “I Capture the Castle,” “Pillow Talk,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “Papillon.” Television programs included series episodes from “The Great British Baking Show,” “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries,” “Sanctuary,” “The Green Hornet,” “Inspector Lewis” and “Inspector Gadget” as well as individual titles that include exercise, history, cooking, documentaries (such as those by Ken Burns) and diet and nutrition.
To use Hoopla, download the free app from the App Store on your Android or iOS device. Follow the instructions, including Harrison County Library as the library. You will be prompted to enter your email address, password, library card number and library card PIN (or password). The system validates the cardholder, and you can begin to use the service.
Video, music and books icons lead the patron to the individual departments, offering recommended, featured and popular lists in each.
Once a title is borrowed on one device, it is available on all devices with the app and via web browsers. Content streams immediately, or you can download content to view at a later date.
Four titles are available per person each month, and it resets each calendar month. Videos lend for 72 hours (three days), music for seven days and audiobooks lend for 21 days. During that time, you can watch or listen to the borrowed content as often as you want, and you can return borrowed titles any time you want.
And if you weren’t quite through? After your selection is automatically returned, you can borrow it again. Just remember: It counts against your monthly limit.
“So far, about 100 people have signed up for it in a little over a week, and I anticipate that number to really go up once people find out about it,” Alexander said.