More ways to watch Hoopla!

This holiday season, relax and watch some great FREE content on Hoopla.  Now Hoopla is easier to watch with a number of different devices and streaming services. It is available on Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV and now available on Roku Players and Roku TVs.

At this time, you can watch any items you have borrowed on the Roku channel.  If you access your account via the app or website, and borrow items, you can now watch them on the Roku channel.  Unfortunately at this time, you cannot borrow items directly from Roku through Hoopla, that must be done through the app or website.

Right now, Hoopla is featuring a number of “Best of 2017” lists including best movies of 2017 on Hoopla. Also there are two featured collections: Christmas for Kids & Hanukkah for Kids.

Browse these great collections to watch a movie with the family this holiday season!

Be sure to check out Hoopla’s help page for specific instructions on how to set Hoopla up on different devices, TVs and streaming services. 

Continue ReadingMore ways to watch Hoopla!

Extras for Educators

A select number of Library database companies and many of the specific databases themselves provide useful extras for your educator patrons!  Perfect for the teachers and home-schoolers that depend upon Library resources to get their jobs done.

EBSCO’s Resources for Educators webpage has collection development articles, lexiles and curriculum information for it’s products.

The specific database Explora: Public Libraries’s For Educators section at the top of the page, gives access to the list below.

explora search bar

  • Lesson Plans – STEM Lessons, Geometry and American History
  • Student Tools – Student Scavenger Hunts and Search Help
  • Curriculum Standards – Searchable by State and including STEM Instructions
  • Valuable Sites for Teachers – Includes STEM info and more Lesson Plans

A Lesson Plan Template is also available for EBSCO eResources.

Science Reference Center, another EBSCO database, has a Reference Shelf with links to science experiments, citation help and more.

SIRS Discoverer, a ProQuest database covering a variety of topics, offers Educator’s Resources.

sirs discoverer

Activities, tutorials and webinars will help any educator or students with many subjects including Art, Health, Math, Science, Reading and Language.

Find Educator’s Resources at the top right corner of the SIRS Discoverer search page.

Our Gale eResources (Bio. in Context, Lit. Resource Center, Opposing Viewpoints, History in Context) deliver online extras as well.

Documents and Tools provides lesson plans, tip sheets, research help, and tutorial videos.

gale tools

And the Gale School Toolkit has Lesson Plans by database product name.

Databases are continuously updating and adding new tools to help educators.  Periodically check for new additions and don’t be afraid to provide them with feedback and suggestions!

Rob Kalchthaler / Bethel Park Public Library

Continue ReadingExtras for Educators

Freegal Announcement

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh first subscribed to freegal in 2012. In 2014, CLP expanded the subscription to provide access throughout Allegheny County. Throughout the course of our subscription, the user base for freegal has not continued to grow and in fact, this year the user base has declined.

CLP, with the full agreement of Downloadable and Streaming subcommittee of the county-wide Digital Resources Committee, has decided to not renew the freegal contract. This decision was based on an evaluation of the resource that considered many factors including usage and download statistics. The current contract expires on December 31, 2017. After this date, staff and patrons will no longer be able to access the freegal website.

The CLP and erec websites will be updated this week to inform patrons that this service will no longer be available starting in 2018. Libraries that host their own downloadable pages should modify the language on their page to alert their patrons that the subscription to freegal is ending at the end of December.

We have posted an updated eTips handout to reflect these changes.

We understand that some patrons who use this service may be disappointed.  However, we encourage staff members to direct patrons to Hoopla where there is a wide variety of music albums available at all times – no waiting!  Below are some talking points to share with patrons who have questions about freegal.

Talking Points:

  • While we are sorry to eliminate this resource for those people that were making use of it, the number of users was very small, making the service extremely costly.
  • We took into consideration other available services, both those available through the library (Hoopla!) and those freely available to the public.
  • Hoopla offers a great selection of complete albums, all available with no wait. The Hoopla music collection currently offers 293,866 albums including albums from popular music labels such as Verve, Atlantic Records and Def Jam Recordings.
  • We will continue exploring new ways to make music available to patrons.


A question was asked that if a patron has music only saved in the Freegal app, will they lose it. Here is the response from Freegal: 

iOS: (Apple devices)
If the user is still logged into the app after service has stopped they can continue to listen to music that’s still in the app. If they log out, or an app update forces them to log out then they will not be able to use the app to listen to their music as they won’t be able to log back in. The music will still be in the app as long as they don’t delete the app and they can transfer it.

The music is stored outside of the app and will not be deleted by removing the app. If you clear the data then the music will be lost.

In both cases it’s best for users to go ahead and backup their music in another location other than the Freegal app.

Continue ReadingFreegal Announcement

Holiday Guide

Whether you’re ready or not, the holidays are quickly approaching!

Check out the holiday titles available through e-resources. 



With RBdigital (formerly Zinio), you can borrow and enjoy free magazines and more from your library’s digital collection.


holiday magazines


With hoopla, you can enjoy free television shows, movies, music, ebooks, audiobooks, comics, and more from your library’s digital collection.


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With Freegal, you can borrow and enjoy free music downloads from your library’s digital collection. (3 free mp3’s per week.) 




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With OverDrive, you can borrow and enjoy free eBooks, audiobooks, and more from your library’s digital collection.






Continue ReadingHoliday Guide