By the end of the year, patrons of 100 library systems around the U.S. are expected to be able to stream thousands of videos for free. Music albums and ebooks too, with no waitlists to worry about.
Over the last few months, public libraries around the country have been testing out a service called Hoopla, a media streaming service that charges libraries each time a patron checks out a video, e-book, or music album. The per-circulation fee paid by libraries ranges from 99¢ to $2.99, and thus far, libraries seem quite pleased with the service.
So instead of buying a single book or movie for five to twenty dollars, libraries will instead pay one to three dollars every time someone “checks out” the item – and this is “free”, because “we” aren’t paying for it, “taxpayers” are.