Finger Lakes Library System ending use of Hoopla FAQ

For the Finger Lakes Library System’s (FLLS) press release on discontinuing Hoopla, please see the Statement on Ending Use of Hoopla.

Why is FLLS discontinuing Hoopla?

FLLS began offering Hoopla in 2016 on a trial basis to provide streaming movies. Since starting Hoopla, the costs associated with the service have risen steadily. Although it is free for patrons to use, FLLS gets charged for every item a patrons checks out. So the more Hoopla gets used, the more it costs. We believe the pricing model and cost of Hoopla make it unsustainable for FLLS and that our resources are better used for other digital content, such as always-available e-audiobooks on OverDrive (a.k.a. the Libby app).

While patrons will no longer be able to access ebooks, e-audiobooks, TV, music, and movies from Hoopla, they will still be able to check out ebooks and e-audiobooks from OverDrive and e-magazines from RBdigital.

What libraries will be continuing Hoopla?

Right now, member libraries are still discussing the option with their Boards of Trustees. The FLLS libraries that have chosen to continue offering Hoopla are Seymour Library in Auburn, Apalachin Library, and Candor Free Library.

We will continue to update this as more libraries make decisions about continuing Hoopla on their own.

How much does Hoopla cost?

FLLS gets charged for every item that a patron checks out, even if they don’t end up using it before it expires. The average cost of an item on Hoopla is $2.19.

But I have to wait so long on OverDrive!

The ebooks and e-audiobooks on OverDrive are licensed by the publishers for use by one borrower at a time. This means that patrons have to place holds on a title if someone has the copy checked out. To reduce hold wait times, FLLS and libraries can purchase multiple copies of titles, but library-copies of ebooks and e-audiobooks cost much more than what consumers pay. And unlike consumers, libraries often don’t own the copies they purchase; they are licensed for a period of time and so they have to be repurchased every year or two to keep them in the collection.

For example: The hardcover edition of Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover costs $13.99 on Amazon and the Kindle edition costs $14.99. If a library purchases a print copy, they pay the hardcover price or they might get a small discount depending on what company they purchase from, but to offer the ebook of Educated costs libraries $55 for one copy and they have to repurchase it after 2 years. The e-audiobook on OverDrive costs $95, but the library doesn’t have to repurchase it.

Also, going into effect November 1, 2019, Macmillan Publishers are only allowing libraries to purchase 1 copy of each new ebook title for the first 8 weeks after a book’s release. To learn more, visit the Ebooks for All website. Blackstone Audio also has a library embargo of 90 days.

OverDrive doesn’t have what I want.

Currently, two publishers have embargos on library purchasing. Blackstone Audio doesn’t allow libraries to purchase e-audiobooks for 90 days and starting November 1, 2019, Macmillan Publishers are only allowing libraries to purchase 1 copy of each new ebook title for the first 8 weeks after a book’s release.

There are also some publishers that refuse to sell digital content to libraries at any cost, such as Amazon. If a title is a Kindle or Audible exclusive, the library cannot purchase it to make it available for patrons to borrow. To learn more about this, check out the press release and report to Congress from the American Library Association.

If OverDrive doesn’t have what you are looking for, you can recommend the title to the library to purchase. You can do this directly through OverDrive or the Libby app (instructions on how to recommend titles).

What other digital content does FLLS offer?

Visit to see all of our digital offerings.

In addition to ebooks and e-audiobooks on OverDrive, FLLS also offers e-magazines on RBdigital, and kid-friendly ebooks and read-along titles through TumbleBooks.

If you are looking for book recommendations, you can always ask your local library staff or you can use our database called Novelist.

FLLS offers personalized language-learning through Mango, which is available online and as an app.

Need some job help? JobNow offers interview help, a resume builder, and career resources.

For those interested in genealogy, FLLS offers HeritageQuest.

FLLS also offers access to a number of research databases through the NovelNY program and through the South Central Regional Library Council. There is a complete listing of these databases in the FLLS catalog.