Last Updated: Dec 20, 2018     Views: 35375

Getting StartedUsing hoopla | Borrowing Titles | Using hoopla in Library Catalog | Technical Requirements | Help

Getting Started

What is hoopla?

Hoopla is a digital streaming service for library users to access eBooks, eAudiobooks, music, movies, and TV shows using portable devices like smartphones and tablets.

What do I need?

  • Tablet, smartphone, computer, or TV with streaming capabilities
  • Library card number
  • Email address and password
  • Hoopla app or updated browser software (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, etc.)

Using hoopla

Once you click on the link to the hoopla site you will be asked to enter your library card number. If you are a first time user, follow the instructions to download the free hoopla app compatible with your device. If you are using your laptop or desktop computer, all you need is a current web browser and the Widevine plug-in (see What is Widevine?).

Getting started on iOS

Getting started on Android

Getting started on the Web

Getting started on Fire TV

Where can I find the hoopla app?

The hoopla app can be found in the App Store on your iOS device and in the Google Play store on your Android device. Search for "hoopla digital" to find and download the app.

Where do I find hoopla on the library's website?

You can find the link to hoopla from our homepage by following the links to eLibrary, Articles & Databases then click on "H" for hoopla and scroll down to the hoopla link. You can also find the link in the eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMusic, and eVideo sections of our website.

Alternatively, you can bookmark and access the library's collection with the username (email address and password) associated with your SFPL card number.

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Borrowing Titles

How does it work?

Much like other library items, library cardholders are allowed to check out 20 electronic items (e.g., eAudiobooks, eBooks, eMusic, eVideos) per month. There are no late fees. Once your item has expired, it will no longer play on your device. Check out periods are as follows:

  • eAudiobooks – 21 days
  • eBooks – 21 days
  • eMusic Titles – 7 days
  • eVideos (Movies and TV Shows) – 72 hours

How do I borrow a title?

Click on a title you like and then click the blue "Borrow" button. 

Can I place a hold on items?

There is no need for holds with hoopla. Every title in its collection is available for check out 24/7. This means that if 200 library users want to check out a particular title, all 200 users can check it out without waiting.

Are titles downloaded onto my device or computer?

Titles can only be downloaded to mobile devices via the hoopla app. Downloading to desktop computers and laptops is not permitted, due to studio or publisher restrictions.

Can I renew a title?

Yes. The option to renew appears two days before the end of the borrowing period (21 days for eBooks, audiobooks, and comics, 72 hours for movies and television, and 7 days for music). A button will appear on the title screen with the option to renew the title. At this time, you can only use the renewal feature at Please note that a renewal is the same as a new borrow, so a renewed title will count against your monthly limit.

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Using Hoopla in the Library Catalog

Here are instructions on how to use Hoopla in the library catalog. Note, titles cannot be downloaded to a computer.

1. From our home page, type the title you are looking for into the main search box at the top of the screen and click the magnifying glass or hit enter on your keyboard.

2. Click on the link that says INSTANTLY AVAILABLE ON HOOPLA.

3. This will open up Hoopla in a new window. Click on the BORROW button.

4. Now you will have to log in to your Hoopla account, or create one if you have not already done so. Hoopla requires an email address and a current library card. You will also have to create a password. 

5. Once you have registered/logged in correctly, you will have checked out the item. There will be information about how long you have the item checked out for in the green bar at the top of the screen. Press the PLAY button to stream the title instantly. 

6. A new window will open up where you can control the playback and volume of the title. You will have to have a wifi connection to listen or watch anything on Hoopla.

Patrons will find wireless networks at all buildings in the San Francisco Public Library system.

7. You can always access your titles by clicking on the HOOPLA symbol on the top of the screen.

8. This will take you back to a screen showing you what titles you have checked out, and you can search and add more via the Search box at the top of the screen.

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Technical Requirements

Do I need to be connected to the Internet to access hoopla?

Yes, to access hoopla and to stream the content over Wi-Fi, 3G and/or 4G (if it is available in your area) you must be connected to the Internet. You can download content to a mobile device for later use when you are not connected.

Which devices and platforms are supported?

Currently, hoopla supports most Android, iOS, and Fire tablets.

For viewing on TV, hoopla supports the following platforms:

  • Airplay
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Fire TV
  • Lightning Digital AV Adapter
  • Roku
Hoopla is compatible with: 
  • OS devices running operating systems 10 and above. 
  • Most Android devices running operating systems 4.4 and above. 
  • Amazon devices running operating systems 5.0.0 and above. 

For more information about device compatibility, see "Supported Devices" on the hoopla help page.

What web browsers are supported?

Hoopla supports newer versions of Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari. Some other browsers may work, but those listed have been confirmed to work. For best results, please ensure you have the most up-to-date versions of these browsers.

As of April 2018, Internet Explorer 11 is no longer a supported web browser for Hoopla. 

What is Widevine?

Widevine is a safe video player that hoopla uses via your web browser to play video content. Widevine is a free add-on for your browser that is owned by Google; it comes pre-installed on newer web browser. If you do not already have this installed when you attempt to play a video title in your web browser, you will see a notification that will direct you to the Widevine website. From there, you simply need to click on Install Now and follow the on screen prompts.

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Help Topics

Why can't I access my account?

  • Are you using the correct email address? Please make sure that you are using the email address associated with your San Francisco Public Library card number. If you have forgotten your password, please use the "Forgot your password?" tool to have your password reset. If you are accessing hoopla through another library system, you will need to use the email address associated with that library system's library card number.
  • Did you replace your library card recently? If you have replaced your library card, you will need to request to have the new number added to your hoopla account.
  • Did you recently update your operating system? If you made any recent changes to your device or web browser, this could affect how hoopla operates on your system. 
  • Can someone look into this? Please submit a Help request to have a staff member review your hoopla account and respond to you within 48 hours.

If I have additional questions, how can I get answers?

Go to the hoopla Help page for more information or email Hoopla customer support for questions not answered there.

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