If you’ve watched TV lately, you’ve probably caught a series of commercials in which a family is comically struggling to survive without access to the internet. While the commercials’ solution to an internet-less existence is to buy their product, BPL is offering a better, free-er means of bringing the internet to you. We’re proud to announce that you can now use your library card to check out Wi-Fi hotspots, which enable you to enjoy the internet in your home, in a car, at the beach, at the store, on a train, in a box, with a fox, or anywhere else and with any other animal accompaniment you’d like. It’s as simple as powering the hotspot on and entering its password into whichever device(s) (computer, tablet, smart phone, etc.) you’d like to internet-ify.
While portable internet is clearly so fetch, we’re not stopping there with our technological offerings. For those who need a device with which to fully savor the benefits of internet on the go, the library has 2-in-1 laptops to check out. What’s “2-in-1” about them, you may ask? Though some question the legitimacy of the entire concept of 2-in-1, these laptops are just that, as with a quick bending of their hinge, they can be converted into touch screen tablets. They come loaded with Open Office to allow for work with word processing, spreadsheets, and slideshow presentations and feature a camera and Skype for video conferencing or chatting. Whether you need one to get some work done or just want to spend some time on the simultaneous limitless information frontier and void of unrelenting nonsense that is the internet, these laptops have what you need. Pair one with a hotspot to give yourself the greatest combo since the Deep Dish Combo Mambo.
For the TV and movie lovers out there, we invite you to come check out one of our Roku Streaming Sticks, which plug into the HDMI port of your TV and provide access to streaming movies, TV shows, music and more through various channels and services. The available channels, which range from educational/informational to straight entertainment, are: Vudu, Netflix, Crackle, YouTube, Allrecipes.com, CBS News, CW Seed, Fox News, NBC News, NetFit, Pandora, PBS, PBS Kids, Popcorn Flix, the Smithsonian Channel, Snag Films, Twitch, Vevo, and WeatherNation. The streaming sticks are portable by nature, so they can easily be taken with you on vacation, to a friend’s house, or anywhere else you have access to a TV or computer monitor with an HDMI port. You’ll need Wi-Fi access to use a streaming stick, so pair one with a hotspot if needed.
Good things usually come in threes, but we’re taking it up another notch and adding a fourth. In addition to our circulating devices, we’d like to introduce you to hoopla, a new digital media service through which you may access and enjoy nearly half a million titles, in six different formats: movies, TV, music albums, eAudiobooks, eBooks, and comics/graphic novels. All content can be streamed on your computer, tablet or smartphone. With hoopla, there are no hold lists, no extra accounts needed or special steps to use it. To register for free with your library card, download the hoopla digital app from your Apple or Google Play store on your mobile device, or, if you are using a computer, click here. After you register, browse the great selection of material and enjoy up to five checkouts per month.
Our Wi-Fi hotspots, 2-in-1 laptops, and Roku Streaming Sticks are available to BPL cardholders 18 or older. They check out for three weeks, and one renewal is available pending holds by other patrons. For the full policy on the circulating devices, click here. hoopla may be used by all BPL cardholders. If you have questions about any of this technological awesomeness, call us at 817-249-6632, send us an e-mail, or comment here.