Media NewsBriefs | August 2013

Findaway World has launched the Playaway® Bookpack program, which combine preloaded, portable audiobook devices with print versions of the same books. Each Bookpack currently comes in a plastic hanging bag, but a shelvable option is in the works.
“Playaways have been used as powerful read-along companions for years. Launching Playaway Bookpacks is our way of making it easier than ever for users to access these pairings and especially easy for libraries and classrooms to deliver this service,” said Nancy Stickney, vice president, Playaway Products Group.
The 200 titles currently available are largely aimed at the children’s market
but also include YA titles with adult crossover appeal, such as Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens and Ally Condie’s Matched and works of literature such as The Great Gatsby, Hamlet, and Death of a Salesman.
For more information about Playaway Bookpacks, including a list of available titles and information on ordering, please visit their site.

Midwest Tape’s hoopla digital has announced public availability of its new service, which provides cardholders at participating libraries with online and mobile access to videos, music, and audiobooks. The materials are available to borrow for instant streaming or temporary downloading to their smartphones, tablets and computers. Libraries are charged per checkout, which allows for simultaneous access and eliminates wait lists.
“With hoopla digital, it is our mission to help public libraries meet the needs of the mobile generation. We’ve worked for years to create a best-in-breed service that is fun, fast, and reliable. Librarians and patrons who participated in our beta gave the service rave reviews. With our public launch, we look forward to serving public libraries and their patrons across North America,” said Jeff Jankowski, founder and owner of hoopla digital.
Kirk Blankenship, electronic resources librarian for the Seattle Public Library, which participated in the beta, gave the service high marks. “Patrons in Seattle love the hoopla experience because it’s easy and fast, giving users the ability to access content wherever they like,” said Blankenship. “Our customers are excited to learn about hoopla digital—some even download the app right in the library to try it out—it’s fantastic!”
According to Michael F. Manon, hoopla’s digital strategist, all of the beta-testing libraries, including Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, NC; Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH; Edmonton Public Library, Alta.; Harford County Public Library, MD; Los Angeles Public Library; Orange County Library System, CA; Salt Lake County Library Services; Seattle Public Library; and Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, have migrated out from beta and are fully on board. In addition, said Manon, 16 new library systems have signed up to partner with hoopla, and at press time more than 150 additional contracts were pending.

Stephanie Klose About Stephanie Klose

Stephanie Klose (, @sklose on Twitter) is Media Editor, Library Journal.