More e-books, television shows available through library

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published June 12, 2018

ROCHESTER HILLS — Rochester Hills Public Library patrons can now access more e-books, movies and television shows on their personal devices than before.

In response to growing demand, Adult Services Manager Jessica Parij said, the library recently added cloudLibrary, Kanopy, Acorn TV and Qello Concerts to its popular collection of digital media services, which can all be accessed on personal devices.

“Downloadable media has always been a popular way to access the library, and there’s been more of a demand to use the library at home or wherever they are 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Parij said. “So we had a few new resources come onto our radar this year that we wanted to take advantage of.”

The cloudLibrary service lets patrons borrow e-books and e-audiobooks for free, a new service that Parij said complements the collection currently available through OverDrive. The cloudLibrary service also allows the library to partner with several other Michigan libraries for added variety in e-book offerings.

“We have all pooled our electronic books and audiobooks together, so if they have something we don’t — and one of their patrons isn’t checking it out — then one of our patrons can then check it out, which is a really good benefit,” Parij explained. “Now patrons will just have more choices and more options.”

Those looking for something to watch can try out Kanopy, a streaming video service with a database of nearly 30,000 films on every topic imaginable.

“They have a lot of indie films, and they just signed a deal with Paramount to get some of their older classic titles, like ‘Saturday Night Fever.’ They also recently added a bunch of kids content, like PBS Kids and some other educational shows,” Parij explained.

Acorn TV, a streaming service for British and international television, allows patrons to check out a one-week all-access pass to Acorn TV with their library card. Parij said there is no limit on how many times one can check out the pass.

“We have a lot of British TV fans at Rochester Hills Public Library — our patrons really love that content — so when that became available for us to offer as a library resource, I jumped right on that,” she said. “We are one of the early adopters for that.”

Patrons can also check out a one-week all-access pass to Qello Concerts, which, according to Parij, offers the world’s largest collection of full-length concerts and music documentaries streamed on-demand to just about any digital device. As with the Acron TV pass, there is no limit on how many times one can download the pass.

Library patrons can also continue to borrow, instantly stream and download free movies, television shows, music, e-books, audiobooks and comics with HooplaDigital; e-books and audiobooks through OverDrive; and digital magazines via rbDigital.

Those who want to learn more about checking out and downloading e-books, audiobooks, music, movies and TV shows from the library are invited to set up a one-on-one appointment with a librarian by calling (248) 650-7130.

The library, following months of research and consultation from an outside group, also launched a new website designed to better serve patrons.

“The Rochester Hills Public Library’s IT team worked hand-in-hand with our librarians through every step of the process — from layout to calendar provider — to make sure our new web presence strongly conveys our mission and reinforces what makes us special,” Library Director Christine Lind Hage said in a statement.

The new platform, according to IT Director Derek Brown, seeks to enhance users’ experience with the library’s downloadable resources. Brown said downloadable resources, such as Hoopla and now Kanopy, have been a driving force behind traffic to the library’s website. In response, the website has been redesigned to make it easier for users to access the resources they want, while keeping the design simple and easy to navigate, library officials said.

“Downloadable resources are one of our big drivers right now to the website itself, so we wanted to really spotlight those e-book and downloadables as an article. On top of that, adding it under the search as a drop-down allows people to get to the resources quickly,” he said.

The homepage, Brown said, now includes more event information, and the calendar page got an updated look, though the functionality remains largely the same.

Parij said the new website makes it easier for patrons to find the information that is most important to them.

“When they were looking at analytics, one of the top pages on our website — after the events calendar and our catalog — was the e-books and downloads page, but we kind of had it buried under a couple different menus. Now it is front and center,” she said.

The Rochester Hills Public Library is located in downtown Rochester, off of University Drive, three blocks east of Main Street. For more information, visit www.rhpl.org.