If you use hoopla® through Mesa County Libraries, you’ll experience some service changes beginning this month (January 2023).
- Starting this month, we are reducing the number of hoopla checkouts you can make each month from eight to five.
- In addition, we are implementing a budget cap on our hoopla service, which means that once the library has spent its budgeted amount of money on hoopla checkouts per day, no more checkouts will be allowed for anyone until the next day begins.
We know that hoopla is a popular service with our patrons, who enjoy the ability to check out ebooks, eAudiobooks, eComics, videos and music albums from the service. We also love offering hoopla to patrons and will continue doing so. To make the service sustainable within the confines of the library’s budget, we’ve had to set the new limits described above.
How does hoopla work?
To fully understand the reason for the new limits, it’s important to know how hoopla works. Libraries that offer hoopla agree to pay a fee for each item that patrons check out. Prices vary among items, but generally, an ebook checkout through hoopla costs the library about $3. Movies and music cost about $1.50, and some eAudiobooks cost as much as $3.99. eAudiobooks tend to be the most expensive category as well as the most popular with patrons, so those costs can rise quickly.
Over the past year, almost 1,400 Mesa County Libraries patrons have checked out at least one item from hoopla, and new patrons are beginning to use the service. The increasing popularity of hoopla has been driving up the library’s cost since we began offering the service in February 2021. In 2022, the library’s cost for hoopla increased by almost 4.5% per month.
We’re thrilled that patrons enjoy hoopla. At the same time, we must control the library’s costs for a service whose overall expense is influenced by the cost of each checkout and increasing use by patrons. Consequently, we’re setting a daily cap on our hoopla service. On any given day, once the library’s cost hits that cap, patrons will be unable to check out any more hoopla items until the next day.
Lowering the number of checkouts that individual patrons can make from hoopla will ensure that more patrons can use the service each month.
Even though patrons are now limited to five hoopla checkouts per month, many patrons don’t reach that number of checkouts. For example, in 2022, our hoopla service averaged 3.87 checkouts per patron. So we believe the new limits will give the library enough budgetary control without placing overly burdensome limits on patrons.
No effect on other services
We want to emphasize that these changes affect only hoopla and not other streaming or download services such as Libby/OverDrive and Kanopy. No rules are changing for those services.
We hope this post helps explain some of the reasons for the new limits on hoopla. Thank you for your support of Mesa County Libraries, and if you have questions about the new hoopla limits, please drop us a note at email@example.com.
I am more than dismayed to learn you have reduced the availability of Hoopla. Although I understand the library has to work within budgetary guidelines, it seems counterintuitive to penalize Hoopla users because the service is too popular. To the contrary, this is where additional revenues need to be channeled. Initially offering Hoopla at a designated level only to rescind almost half the benefits later on is the antithesis of how a public library should function. I am disappointed in this policy decision and hope you consider restoring Hoopla to its previous usage level.