Durham A recent vote by the Durham County commissioners will allow library patrons to download more music, videos and e-books.
Recently, commissioners voted to expand the county’s contract with digital content provider Hoopla from $40,000 to up to $125,000. The board also approved a potential amendment that would allow the contract to go up to $200,000 if needed.
Hoopla, which the county has been using since December 2014, is one of 16 digital content providers that the 216,429 library cardholders can use to download a variety of media.
“The (Hoopla) collection has about 500,000 audio books, music albums, movies, TV, e-books and comics for both adults and kids,” said Jan Seabock, the county’s collection development librarian. “Library cardholders can check out and stream and download all these materials from any internet-connected device that they have.”
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Hoopla is the only digital content provider that allows multiple users to access content at the same time. It also allows for unlimited simultaneous use of audiobooks, which is the most popular format for the library’s digital users, and full music albums, many of which are available on their release date.
The commissioners’ approval allowed for the expansion of the contract, but the funding will come from the library’s resources and technical services budget.
The money will be used to provide content from the collection to the increasing number of patrons who are checking out digital materials. The number of library patrons using the Hoopla service has increased 83 percent to more than 4,000 over the last year, Seabock said.
The way the Hoopla system works is a patron checks out the item, and the library pays for each use.
“They can download it. They can stream it,” Seabock said.
The service is free for patrons, but the library pays from 49 cents to $3.99 per item per digital checkout. The average cost is $2.09.
The digital service’s checkout times range. An audio book goes out 21 days. A movie goes out for three days. And music goes out for seven days.
Library officials are expecting an increase in the service as the Durham County Main library downtown will close in January for a $44.3 million renovation.
“We would like for all of our patrons who find it convenient to check out materials online, rather than coming into a library location,” Seabock said. “And know that we have a whole range of services, a whole range of collections.”
Main library’s renovation timeline
The Main downtown library will close in early 2017.
The design of the building will extend through March. Construction will extend from June to December 2018. County officials will start moving back into the building in December 2018.
The library will reopen in February 2019.