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Libby vs Hoopla – What’s the Difference?

Libraries reach far beyond their buildings through the development of digital collections. These are books, movies, music, and more that can be borrowed through the library’s website or through apps. Some of you might have explored Caledon Public Library’s (CPL) digital collections for the first time during the pandemic, when it was tricky to browse the stacks in person. For those of you who are new to our digital collections, I’d like to introduce you to the two biggest and most popular options, and give you a tour of their many features.

Libby is a digital collection offered by a company called OverDrive – that name might sound familiar to parents because it’s the company behind the Sora digital collection for students. Our collection is developed by, and shared with, libraries throughout Ontario, but we also purchase titles for the exclusive use of CPL’s members.

hoopla, with a small H, is also a digital collection that lets you borrow a variety of formats to enjoy on your computer, tablet, phone or TV. The hoopla collection is available ‘as is’; our library doesn’t have the ability to add or remove titles from the collection.

You can access the websites of both of these resources from CPL’s Digital Library page.

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Is there an app for that?

Both Libby and hoopla have apps available on the App Store and Google Play, and you’ll find links to them on our Digital Library page as well. I often use the apps for quick impulse borrows, and the websites for browsing titles.

What formats can you borrow?

The Libby collection offers ebooks, eaudiobooks, magazines, read-along books for kids, and movies. hoopla offers ebooks, eaudiobooks, music, movies, television shows, and comics.

How many things can you borrow at a time?

With Libby you can borrow 10 things at a time, and you can place holds on 10 things. You can choose to borrow items for 7 or 14 days.

With hoopla, you can borrow a maximum of 10 things each month. hoopla also offers BingePasses, which are collections of items on a theme that count as a single borrow. You can borrow ebooks, eaudiobooks, and comics for 21 days, music for 7 days, and tv and movies for 3 days.

Do you have to wait to borrow things?

Here’s where hoopla shines – there are no wait times at all. If you see something you want to borrow, you can grab it immediately and you’ll never have to place holds on things.

Libby, on the other hand, treats their items like books on the shelf at the library; if someone else has it, you have to join the holds list and wait for it to be returned before you can borrow it. You’ll still find lots of things that are available to borrow right away, but you might have to wait for the newest and buzziest titles. Look for the Lucky Day collection, where popular titles are available for a 7-day speed read, or the Available Now search option for titles you can enjoy immediately. Even though we share the collection with many other libraries on Ontario, we try to keep waits short by adding copies of popular titles that are available exclusively to our members.

Can I request additions to the collection?

This is where Libby takes the lead – your librarians are able to purchase requested titles to add to the Libby collection, whereas we can’t make any additions to hoopla. You’ll also notice that hoopla doesn’t always have the newest books available in their collection, though they often have popular music on the day it’s released.

Are there any special features?

You bet! hoopla’s BingePasses are fantastic, and they have many Acorn TV and PBS Masterpiece Theatre titles. They also run virtual book and graphic novel clubs throughout the year.

Because Ontario librarians are choosing the titles available in Libby, you’ll find more curation for local authors and stories there. Libby hosts Big Library Read events, where a featured title is available with no holds or waitlists. You’ll also find a link within Libby to the Kanopy collection of movies, as Libby and Kanopy are both owned by OverDrive.

Is there help available?

Of course! You’ll find our tutorials for Libby and hoopla on the Digital Library page of our website – look for the ? button to open them. You will also find help sections for both in their websites and apps, which include FAQs, videos, and contact forms.

The post Libby vs Hoopla – What’s the Difference? appeared first on Just Sayin’ Caledon.

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