eChanges Drop-in Sessions

We all know eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines are only becoming more popular. But the way publishers and vendors have designed their services to take advantage of this has become an issue that is impacting libraries all over the country. This is affecting us too, and we will have to adjust our Libby and hoopla holds and check-out limits to rein in rising costs later this year.  

These choices are the result of quantitative and qualitative research, and we acknowledge that patrons may be upset at the change. We are offering three drop-in sessions you can attend to learn more about the reason this is happening, what the changes are, and what you can do support patrons. A recording will also be available. 

Event details

Below are the session dates and times with links to the Teams meetings.

Tuesday, July 9: 1:00pm – 2:00pm 

Wednesday, July 10: 10:30am – 11:30am 

Tuesday, July 16: 1:00pm – 2:00pm 

Questions? Contact Hilary Lewis 

Continue ReadingeChanges Drop-in Sessions

Get More Content with hoopla’s BingePass

A few years ago digital content provider, hoopla, introduced their BingePasses. The concept allows users to borrow a full collection of movies, books or magazines to stream for 7 days straight, using only one checkout credit. Since the introduction of this borrowing format, the collection has grown.

Get ready to hit that Hallmark demographic hard when I tell you that they now offer 7 day access to the entire Hallmark Movies Now catalog! That’s over 1,500+ hours of ad-free content from Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

And parents will love the “Read-Along 2 Learn” collection of engaging, non-fiction titles for school-age children to help prevent the summer slide. Learn about bugs, animals, dinosaurs, engineering and emotions – all of it using just one checkout.

There’s also the GoKidGo podcast collections, The Great Courses collection, Highlights magazine collection, digital magazines and many more.

But how can you promote these collections to your users you ask? With hoopla’s BingePass marketing resources! They have everything you need (flyers, social graphics) to spread the word about these great collections.

Enjoy sharing this wonderful resource with your patrons!

-Richelle at Sewickley Public Library

Continue ReadingGet More Content with hoopla’s BingePass

Attention E-Mag Readers!

Due to decreasing usage and limited titles, ACLA will be dropping our Flipster subscription as of December 31, 2022. However, there is good news for E-Magazine readers! We have two other services which offer many more titles for you to check out and flip through, digitally and on the go.

Overdrive/Libby: We currently offer over 4,000 issues of popular magazines in our Overdrive/Libby collection. Titles are always available, and there is no limit on the number you can borrow each month! Magazine issues can be checked out for up to 21 days and downloaded to a mobile device for off-WiFi enjoyment. You can find the magazine collection in the Libby app or at acla.overdrive.com.

Hoopla BingePass: A newer addition is the “BingePass” feature in Hoopla, which allows unlimited 7-day access to their magazine collection using only one of your 15 per month checkouts. So if you borrow a BingePass each week, you can have constant and unlimited access to Hoopla’s 90+ titles! Note that this is a streaming service, so an internet connection is required to read. Hoopla’s BingePass is located under the “More” section in the app or at hoopladigital.com.

Visit our eLibrary at elibrary.einetwork.net for more information, or feel free to reach out to your local library for help getting started with one of these great E-Magazine services. Happy reading!

–Heather Auman, Western Allegheny Community Library

Continue ReadingAttention E-Mag Readers!

Farewell, Flipster

I am writing this to inform the staff that the digital magazine subscription service Flipster will be ending in Allegheny County libraries on December 31, 2022. Once an innovative forerunner in the digital magazine game, Flipster has begun to show its age, outshined by relative newcomers Overdrive and hoopla. Before we announce anything to patrons, we wanted to take the time to explain why we are sunsetting Flipster.

Considering budgetary restraints and service overlap, the Digital Resources Committee (DRC) conducted a thorough review of all three big names in digital magazines: Flipster, Overdrive, and hoopla. It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a shot in the arm for digital access. With the dust starting to settle on the pandemic (or at least settle into the dreaded “new normal”), a re-evaluation of digital services was necessary. While looking at each provider, we considered several factors: usage, cost, user experience, authority/company reputation, accessibility, content availability, vendor service and administration, and mobile functionality. Each committee member took the time to independently evaluate these services with these criteria, and lo and behold: a consensus formed prior to discussion.

On all fronts, Flipster was coming up short. The final scores were: Flipster, 161; hoopla, 226, and Overdrive, 244. We found Flipster lagging on a number of important factors: missing latest editions, buggy/hard-to-use interface, limited back-issue access, and little name recognition. In addition, since the start of 2020, Flipster’s circulation decreased, an obvious red flag during an explosion of digital access and use. For these reasons, Flipster is the weakest link and a redundancy with both Overdrive and hoopla available to patrons.

Some patrons may take issue with the passing of trusty old Flipster, and we should be prepared. We would recommend citing some of the reasons above, particularly accessibility and latest-/back-issue access. We have found two effective methods:

  1. Citing public libraries’ limited resources (pretty hard for folks to argue with this one)
  2. Redirecting patrons to our remaining services (hoopla and Overdrive)

Two other important things to note: we will be making a separate announcement for the public later this quarter, and if any library has a direct link to Flipster on their website, please add a notice after October 1 that the service will be discontinued after Dec 31, 2022.

If you have any issues, concerns, complaints, or pretty pictures to send to the DRC, you can direct them to the co-chairs of the DRC: Hilary Lewis at lewislacknerh@carnegielibrary.org or Richelle Klug at klugr@sewickleylibrary.org or if you have any questions about this specific article/email, email me at smithc2@coopersiegelcommunitylibrary.org.

Continue ReadingFarewell, Flipster