July 25, 2014 6:48 pm

Lethbridge public library going high tech

As the world changes and technology evolves, the Lethbridge Public Library is doing its part to keep pace by introducing a new program called Hoopla.

Hoopla will allow library card holders to temporarily download, or stream media from the comfort of home via smart phones, tablets, and computers.

Associate director of service development for the Lethbridge Public Library, Elisabeth Hegerat, said the initial feedback has been positive.

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“Our staff have been playing with it for the past week and we’ve had a lot of really good comments. and I know that it’s been a big hit in other libraries in the province,” said Hegerat.

Hoopla is a province wide initiative that is expected to go “viral” eventually making its mark on all public libraries in Alberta. Music, audio books, television shows, and movies are all available for free.

Although access is limited to ten checkouts per month, Hegerat realizes it’s a great way for libraries to avoid falling by the way side, as this generation continues to go digital.

“Things are moving online, they are moving to digital. We’ve had e-books for a couple of years now and we’ve already got digital magazines where you can access subscriptions and this is a natural extension of that,” said Hegerat.

Chinook Arch public services librarian Jody Mendenhall fully agrees with Hegerat.

“Traditionally Libraries are associated with books and we have been and continue to move towards different types of resources. including digital resources,” said Mendenhall.

It’s been a slow progression for the Lethbridge Public Library. First they introduced audio books, then three years ago the newest blockbuster releases, and now Hoopla.

But don’t write off the paperback just yet,  Hegerat says there are still many sifting through the stacks.

“One of the really interesting things that were finding is that an awful lot of our customers are using the e-books, but they’re still picking up the print books. i don’t think that the whole world has gone all the way digital and streaming yet,” she said.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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