By Alicia Doyle

The Writer
Specializing in Good News
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Library systems offer free digital service

Anyone with a card for the Ventura County Library system or Oxnard Public Library can get movies, television shows, music and audio books via smartphone, computer or tablet because of a new service called hoopla.

"There are no costs or hassles," said Sofia Kimsey, information and reference library services supervisor at the Oxnard Public Library, which has three branches.

Kimsey said using the website and the mobile applications via Google play or the iTunes App Store is easy. Users can choose from a list of blockbusters, best-selling authors and artists as well as a catalog of educational materials, children's titles, foreign films and other content, she said.

"Once the app is downloaded to your personal device, you may login and start browsing," Kimsey said. "Start streaming immediately or download a title to your phone or tablet for offline viewing later. The library will automatically return it for you at the end of the lending period so there are never any late fees."

To use the service from a computer library, patrons may go to the hoopla website and log in with a library card number and PIN.

The service also may be used by clicking the "hoopla" icon at and

The county library system, which has 11 locations, launched the digital service Aug. 19, about a week after Oxnard.

The borrow time for each item varies, said Barbara Eales, Web librarian at the Ventura County Library. For videos, it is two to three days; for music, one week; and for audio books, 21 days.

"Ventura County Library is limiting to eight borrows a month, but we might bump that up to 10," Eales said. "If you have an Oxnard Public Library card, too, you might be able to do double possible borrows."

Hoopla has more than 200,000 titles, said Michael Manon, of Ohio, chief brand manager.

"What's really cool with a library card: You can borrow and watch a movie at 3 a.m. if you wanted to," Manon said. "And once the lending period is over, it's automatically returned, so you don't have to worry about late fees."

Hoopla also releases much anticipated albums in real time.

"So for someone who's really excited about the latest Maroon 5 album coming out in the beginning of September ... we'll have it on hoopla on Tuesday morning," Manon said. "You don't have to pay for the album if you don't want. You can listen to it the same time everybody else does, and you don't have to worry about people getting it ahead of you."

August 31, 2014 Ventura County Star; Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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