Blog Archives

What’s all the HOOPLA?

By Sharon Reily, Reference Department

Would you like to download eBooks, eAudiobooks and comics, stream movies and TV shows, and listen to music through one source – for FREE? Welcome to Hoopla, the Library’s newest digital resource! You can enjoy Hoopla’s hundreds of thousands of titles on your computer, tablet, or smartphone! And guess what? On Hoopla there are NO WAIT LISTS and NO LATE FEES.

According to Hoopla’s website: “You can stream titles instantly through your desktop browser or the Hoopla mobile app. If you use our mobile app, you can also download titles to your device for offline playback later, where Wi-Fi may be unavailable. Titles are automatically returned and removed from your device at the end of the lending period. “

GET HOOPLA AND CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT

Setting up a Hoopla account is simple. Download the Hoopla app on your smart phone or tablet from the App Store or Google Play. You can also create a Hoopla account on your computer on the Hoopla website (https://www.hoopladigital.com/).

Click Get Started Today and follow the onscreen prompts to sign up for your new account.

  • If you’re on your computer, you’ll need to click Allow Location Access. On a smart phone or tablet, turn on Location Services in your Settings. This allows Hoopla to identify the location of your library.
  • You’ll be asked for your email address and password. Make up a password (not your library card number).
  • After reading Hoopla’s terms and agreements, click Agree.
  • Once you’ve entered your email and new password, Location Services will search for libraries near you and display several. Choose Williamson County Public Library.
  • You will then be prompted to enter your library card number and PIN. Your PIN will be the last four digits of your library card number, unless you have changed it in the last couple of months.

That’s it!  You can start browsing for titles and begin streaming or downloading immediately. If you run into trouble setting up your account, call the Reference Desk at 615-595-1243 and Reference staff will be happy to help you. You can also check out some instructional videos from Hoopla Digital on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/hoopladigital/videos. These videos demonstrate how to use Hoopla on a variety of devices, including your TV.


GET YOUR TITLES

On Your Computer:

If you’re using Hoopla on your computer, you’ll see the home page when you log in:

Click BROWSE to see lists of popular, recommended or featured titles by genre:

 

Or search by title, author, artist, or series.

Click BORROW to check out the title or click the HEART to add it to your favorites.

Click READ to begin your book.

On Your Smart Phone or Tablet

If you’re using the Hoopla app, when you log in you’ll see your “My Hoopla” page.

Click an icon at the bottom to browse through the genres or click the magnifying glass to search by title, author, artist, or series.

Click the question mark for “how to” instructions and tutorials, and as you browse through the different genres, you can add titles you’d like to borrow in the future to your Favorites list. Click the HEART to access your Favorites.

 

When the search results are displayed, click the cover of the title that you’d like to borrow.

Click BORROW and then click READ to begin your book.


A FEW RULES AND REGULATIONS

Borrowed Titles

You’re allowed to borrow 4 titles a month. But as a special bonus from WCPL, you can borrow 8 titles until the end of March 2019. So get started right away!

Lending Periods

  • eAudiobooks and eBooks: 21 days
  • Movies and TV shows: 3 days
  • Comics: 21 days
  • Music: 7 days

That’s really all there is to it!  Enjoy!

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Adventures in Digital Storage (in honor of Preservation Week)

By Lance Hickerson, Reference Department

“Today, the average household creates enough data to fill 65 iPhones (32gb) per year. In 2020, this will grow to 318 iPhones.”

This is a conclusion from the seventh EMC Digital Universe study at Hopkinton, Massachusetts highlighting a special concern with how “data is outpacing storage. The world’s amount of available storage capacity (i.e., unused bytes) across all media types is growing slower than the digital universe.”

Concerns about digital storage and preservation are not new, but they are now more pressing. Michael Irving, of New Atlas, explains how “even the best of our current range of devices are only relatively short-term solutions to the problem. Hard drives, and optical storage such as DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, are vulnerable to damage and degradation, with a life expectancy of a few decades at best.”   Irving continues:

Scientists are increasingly looking to nature’s hard drive, DNA, as a potential solution to both the capacity and longevity problems. As our own bodies demonstrate, DNA is an incredibly dense storage medium, potentially squeezing in a mind-boggling 5.5 petabits (125,000 GB) of information per cubic millimeter. By that measure, according to University of Washington professor, Luis Ceze, all 700 exabytes of today’s accessible internet would fit into a space the size of a shoebox. You could then tuck that shoebox away in a vault for thousands of years, and the DNA-stored data would remain intact.

Indeed, digital storage modeled on DNA is a promising solution. But until it becomes more than experimental, what should we do in the meantime? For instance, what if you have just been chosen as the archivist for a massive collection of family photographs? How would you choose to store the data? In addition to preserving the actual physical photos, what is the best approach from a digital point of view? After the photos are scanned, what is the best way to store them as digital documents?

A helpful answer comes from Denise May Levenick, who inherited her family photo treasures. She shares tips and techniques for preserving a collection in her latest book, How to Archive Family Photos: A step by step guide to organize and share your photos digitally (Family Tree Books: Cincinatti, 2015. In our library nonfiction section under 745.593 May). It is good to keep in mind that, although focusing on photos, the principles she outlines apply to more than photo collections.

One important decision for digital material concerns negotiating different file formats. Ms. Levenich explains about using JPG and TIFF files.

JPG is a file format that uses compression when saving files and is called a lossy file format because repeated opening and saving of JPG files deteriorates the image quality over time.   TIFF is a file format that does not use compression when saving files and is considered a lossless format because it maintains its quality over time.

What this means for preservation is that the TIFF lossless format better maintains the digital data than the JPG format, which loses quality with use. One concern with TIFF files, however, is that TIFF is sometimes unreadable by various programs. In this case, our staff librarian photo buff, Rebecca Tischler, recommends saving picture files in PNG. PNG, pronounced “ping,” stands for the Portable Network Graphics format which compresses information in a lossless manner, meaning all the image information is there when the PNG file is decompressed. Further it neither degrades nor loses information with saving, restoring, or resaving like the JPG. Don’t count out the JPG, however, as it has its uses too, one being the JPG can preserve a lot more color than the PNG.

Once your format is chosen, it is necessary to back up your photo files. Ms. Levenick recommends the 3-2-1 rule.

  • 3 Copies
  • 2 different media
  • 1 copy stored off-site

She explains, “Many different combinations will provide a good backup solution, but the key to a great backup system is to spread out your copies across different media and different storage locations. When hurricanes and tornadoes wipe out a home and family photo collection, it’s reassuring to know that digital copies are safe in the cloud, or stashed at a relative’s home in another state. Don’t wait for a disaster to safeguard your precious family memories. Practice the 3-2-1 Backup rule regularly, especially after a major scanning session.”

 


Sources:

News from our Teen Department

ErinHWe are pleased to announce that Erin Holt is the new Teen Librarian at the Main Library in Franklin. Erin brings with her a Masters in Library Science from Queens College (New York), experience working with teens at the New York Public Library, a love of all things social media, a flare for collection development, and fresh and exciting programming ideas for the teens and tweens of Williamson County. You may know Erin if you’ve stopped by the Reference desk, as she has been with WCPLtn for the past 4 years. Erin can’t wait to connect with the teens both in person and online with various programming initiatives set to launch this year. First up? The new “Imagination Station,” which includes Nintendo Wii, Minecraft, Lego Mindstorm, and other multi-media programs. Between this and other upcoming ideas, Erin plans to turn the Teen Department into a community hub for Williamson County teens. Keep yourself in-the-know & follow @wcplteen14 on Twitter. See you at the Library!

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