I tend to have very strong and vocal opinions about things I dislike. This can be frustrating for my loved ones AND extremely embarrassing for myself when I realize just how wrong I was. I can think of three specific items which eventually caused me to eat my words:
1.) Cottage cheese, 2.) Tom Waits, & 3.) Digital books.
With each one, I eventually experienced an “oh god what was I thinking?”-moment which allowed me to see the light. (In the case of cottage cheese, it was my actually trying it rather than automatically denouncing it as “gross.” Sorry for the years of struggle, mom.)
What recently brought me around to embracing – and then becoming totally pumped about – digital content was LPL’s recent addition of Hoopla. With 24/7 access to hundreds of thousands of items (eBooks, audiobooks, graphic novels, and more) and NO holds list whatsoever, it’s a pretty wonderful resource. You can “check out” up to 5 items per month per account (if you have kids/family who won’t use it… you can sign them up and use theirs for more! Shh.) and there aren’t any late fees since things return automatically. Read/watch/listen on your computer or device. Here’s a quick-and-easy video guide to get you started.
“Four Hoopla Faves” is admittedly a totally misleading title. In actuality, I have dozens of recommendations for fabulous Hoopla finds here, and I literally discover more each week. (My coworkers may tire of me shouting, “GUESS WHAT ELSE, GUYS!!!” at random intervals.) Here are four umbrella categories of favorite things:
1. Great new non-fiction audiobooks:
All of these either still have big holds lists at the library, or are not currently owned by the library in physical format. And all of them are awesome.
- You Are a Badass (this book is kinda life-changing.)
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- The Bad-ass Librarians of Timbuktu (“badass” seems to be a theme here…)
- The Miracle of Mindfulness
- Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls (recommended by Kimberly on the Book Squad!)
2. The Prince catalog:
While it was reported that Prince’s discography was removed from all streaming sites except for Tidal, which is owned by Jay-Z, tons of his music is also available for streaming on Hoopla. Over twenty-five of his albums, including Purple Rain, Prince, and 1999, are available as well as a documentary and graphic novel about his life.
Fo’ free. Sorry, Jay-Z.
3. Classic Disney movies:
And I do mean classic…
4. Freakin’ awesome feminist finds:
To be honest, this could be a post all in itself. One of the things I love most about Hoopla is that its eBooks are organized by genre/subject really well, and you can find so many things. There are subjects like Feminism and feminist theory, Women’s Studies, AND Gender Studies – three different and wonderful pages! (And don’t even get me started on how elaborately delineated the Science section is – Chemistry alone has four different sub-pages.) Here is just a small sampling of the gems I’ve uncovered:
- Revolutionary Women: A Book of Stencils (Feminist art awaits!)
- Antonia’s Line (My very favorite feminist movie)
- Classic authors like Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, and Marge Piercy
- Newer nonfiction like this feminist speculative fiction collection, and a brand-new YA guide to feminism by Nadia Abushanab Higgins
I could go on, but I’ll stop for now. Much like the grave mistakes I made by dismissing cottage cheese and Tom Waits earlier in my life (seriously, what was I thinking?), I’m so glad I eventually came around to embracing digital content. Hoopla has so many movies, albums, TV shows, audiobooks, eBooks, and graphic novels – with items added on a regular basis – that I’ll be set for quite a while. If you want any recommendations, email me (email@example.com) and I’ll take a look for something that suits you! I especially recommend the Kroger brand 4% large curd.
-Kate Gramlich is a Readers Services Assistant at Lawrence Public Library