Something to Be Thankful For: November Is Bonus Borrows Month on hoopla!

Believe it or not, there have been some good things about 2020. In the spring and summer of this year, hoopla introduced a hugely popular Bonus Borrows initiative, meaning that patrons could borrow from a generous group of titles in various formats without using any of their monthly borrowing allowance. Guess what? The Bonus Borrows are back!

Just in time for the longer autumnal evenings ahead, you’re being treated to over a thousand new titles to choose from in five formats: audiobook, ebook, movie, television, and comic book. In the “Bonus Borrows – Nov 2020 – All Audiobooks” category, you’ll find a number of classics in both adult and children’s fiction. What better time than now to catch up on that book you’ve meant to read since high school, or to introduce your kids to beloved favorites? Sign on for the literary adventure that is Moby Dick or get a taste of thwarted love in Edwardian America with The Age of Innocence. For the little ones, Beatrix Potter is well-represented, with classic titles like The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tailor of Gloucester on offer.

If you’d prefer to read rather than listen, then you’ve also got an ample curated collection of ebooks to choose from: “Bonus Borrows – Nov 2020 – All eBooks.” Here, you can browse some cozy seasonal offerings from the likes of Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott or go on an adventure with Jules Verne in Around the World in 80 Days—and of course, there are 257 titles to try, modern books included.

With the 358 films included in “Bonus Borrows – Nov 2020 – All Movies,” there’s something to please every viewer, as holiday movies, documentaries, and features are all well-represented. There’s so much on offer that you’ll just have to take a look yourself! The TV Bonus Borrows selections have an educational focus, which may be particularly welcome right now.

And if all of that isn’t enough, hoopla has truly outdone itself in the comics category, offering two different collections, one with standalone titles and first volumes, and another with “Series You’ll Love”. Truly a feast for the eye!

So, in this season that celebrates abundance, make sure that you take advantage of all the goodness on offer through November 30! If you are new to hoopla, please visit our FAQs page to learn how to set up your account. And if you don’t yet have a Marblehead library card, you can start your adventure here!


Blimey! New BBC Content on hoopla

There’s just something about British programming that really cuts the mustard. Mystery, period dramas, police procedurals, genius comedy: our cousins across the pond have captured our imaginations and always seem to leave us longing for more. If you’re already a devotee of Acorn TV, then you know exactly what we’re talking about. If not, you’re in for a treat: check out our FAQs page to find out how to get started. But if you’re looking for further brilliant telly, then hoopla has even more content on offer!

You can get your Brit fix from a number of already-curated collections. For a sprinkling of series from various genres, your first stop should be hoopla’s New from BBC category. Included here are the sorts of lifestyle documentaries that are not commonly available without charge in the US, like Top Gear and George Clarke’s Old House, New Home. With these, viewers can get a sense of what the British themselves are actually watching, not just what is commonly exported for Americans’ entertainment.

Crime Solving Sleuths offers tasters for a number of series, from the gritty, like Silent Witness (in which the sleuth confronts her own demons whilst demanding justice for victims), to the classic and charming, like The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, to the historically and literarily informed The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher.

Further collections bring you even more to savor, all with a delectable British twist. Well-wrought romances bloom in Love Against the Odds; female protagonists win the day in the likes of bucolic, nineteenth-century Cranford and–on the opposite end of the spectrum–Absolutely Fabulous (have a look at hoopla’s Strong Female Characters). Before They Were Stars curates excellent films featuring the likes of Colin Firth, Olivia Coleman, and Idris Elba before they became well-known here in the States, and Britain at War takes us back to Blighty and offers some unique perspectives on a perennially fascinating period–not least of which is the biopic Wodehouse in Exile, a dramatization of the beloved Jeeves and Wooster series author’s exile from his beloved England.

So say “cheerio” to any fears that you’ve already seen every last British program this side of the Atlantic, and get stuck into some seriously satisfying viewing. If you haven’t tried hoopla, visit our FAQs section to get started. If you’d like to explore the Abbot Library’s BBC DVD collection, you can do so here and get your selections (right now with no charge!) via our convenient curbside pickup service.

Having Trouble Logging In To Acorn TV?

UPDATE: As of Thursday, July 16, all the Acorn TV issues have been fixed! You should be able to log in once to the RBDIgital portal at and be automatically logged in to Acorn TV.

If you continue to experience issues with this, please contact the library at

We have noticed there have been issues with logging in to Acorn TV, one of Abbot Public Library’s online services with which you can stream British movies and television (for free!).

Acorn TV is one of the services offered through RBDigital, the others being IndieFlix, Great Courses, and RB Digital Magazines.

The issue arises if you are trying to access RBDigital and Acorn through a browser. If you have changed your RBDigital password in the past, you will need to do the same directly through Acorn TV, as it may have retained your old password. To do this, simply click “Forgot Password” and you will be sent an email link with instructions for how to change your password. Don’t forget to change your password so that it matches what you use for RBDigital!


  1. Go to
  2. Click on Acorn TV under the Entertainment section.
  1. Click on any of the movies or shows.
  2. Click “Check Out.” You will be prompted to sign into RBDigital. 
  1. A pop-up screen will appear saying you will have unlimited access to Acorn TV for 7 days. Click “OK.” You have now checked out a 7-day pass for access to Acorn TV.
  1. You will be routed to the Acorn TV site. Click “Access Acorn TV.”
  1. From here you will need to log in again. If you have ever changed your password, this is where you will click “Forgot password” and change it so it matches the RBDigital login.

    If you don’t think you ever changed your password, try logging in. If it does not work, click “Forget Password” and follow the steps to change your password to the one you just use for your RB Digital Account.
  1. You should now have access to British television! 

If you continue experiencing issues, or if you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us at or call at 781-631-1481 during service hours, on Mondays through Saturdays from 2:00 pm – 5:45 pm.

There’s an App for That!: Read, Watch, and Listen with hoopla

Apps for this, apps for that. Take a look at your phone or mobile device, and you’ll see what we mean. This one’s for reading; that one’s for video streaming; another might be your go-to for the latest playlists and albums. Have you ever wished that you could find an all-in-one app that brings you the quality content you crave? If so, the library might just have what you’re looking for–at no cost!

hoopla is a one-stop borrowing experience that has quite recently joined the Abbot Library’s digital service menu. Just as our brick-and-mortar library offers so much more than just books, hoopla gives you access to–at last count–792,284 ebooks, e-audiobooks, music, films, TV, and even comics. 

As a first-time user, you may want to hop onto it via your browser first to see a potpourri of featured titles, often by categories like “hoopla Movies of the Month” and (currently) “Celebrating Black Music Month.” From here, you can also browse by format and category: perhaps audiobooks in the category “Conversations about Race,” or “Featured” music by release date. You’ll find brand-new albums like Pick Me Up Off the Floor by Norah Jones as well as diverse collections in just about any genre you can think of. While you’re at it, have a peek at some of the library’s specially-curated collections in audiobook, movie/TV, and music formats–they’re distinguishable by titles beginning with “2020 APL” like this one: “2020 APL Comfort Food Cinema.” One of hoopla’s best features? Everything is always available to everyone, 24/7–no holds, no waits!

You can also go straight to the hoopla app via your app store and dive in to find all of the above and more. You’ll immediately see your personal “Borrowed” page with a prompt to search for your next great read, watch, or listen. You’ll also see your previously borrowed titles–a real boon if you’re reading or watching a series! A “Favorites” tab keeps track of titles you’ve “liked” during previous searches but weren’t ready to check out yet. Once again, you can browse or search by format, or just search all formats at once by artist/author, title, or series. Want to try out your research skills? Try an “Advanced Search” to discover even more content that suits your personal taste.

While you won’t be barraged with spam, hoopla will send you the occasional email, reminding you of the number of borrows you have remaining, highlighting new collections, or inviting you to participate in their “book clubs” (see this post for an example). Watch for “hoopla Digital” as the sender. New titles are added monthly, so this platform is definitely dynamic– you won’t want to miss anything!

For detailed instructions on how to sign up for hoopla with your Marblehead library card, take a look at our FAQs page. If you don’t currently have a card, begin here. And if you want to stream hoopla video content on your smart TV, there are detailed instructions on the hoopla help page. As always, if you have any other questions about hoopla, feel free to contact the reference staff at!

Anxious Anglophile Therapy: Acorn TV + hoopla

We know you’re out there. Those who flicked on the Queen’s calm, collected, compassionate (and historically rare) televised addresses to her nation on the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who followed the unexpected drama of the Prime Minister’s COVID-19 illness and recovery. Maybe there’s an ancient rootedness, an age-old solidity about the United Kingdom that–despite the recent upheaval of Brexit–appeals to us in our comparatively young and volatile New World. Or perhaps the Brits just have a knack for making us laugh, a good enough therapy in itself. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying Americans’ fascination with and rapacious consumption of British programming!

For Anglophiles, there’s just nothing like Acorn TV. Shows that were once available only on DVD or through subscription streaming are now just a couple of clicks away for Marblehead library card holders. Even better, they’re always available and free. No holds, no waits, no fees. Check out a 7-day pass, and you can blissfully binge-watch until it’s time to check out another pass: no monthly limits or checkout caps. Whether your “comfort genre” is comedy, historical drama, mystery, or documentary, you’ll find plenty to your taste. If you’re the sort who finds solace in schedules (especially in this time of disruption), Acorn TV offers you one, so that you can keep track of offerings that are “Recently Added,” “Coming Soon,” and “Leaving Soon”–you’ll never miss a trick! You can of course browse by category, one of which is currently “Soothing Documentary.” The British really are unapologetic about the value of comfort in these anxious times! 

For those who are already passionate fans of Acorn TV and feel as though they’ve exhausted its possibilities for the moment (though that would take some seriously committed bingeing!), the Abbot Public Library’s newest digital service, hoopla, offers yet more tempting BBC fare. Have  a look at this search of hoopla’s TV category and this one of BBC movies, with 150 and 63 results, respectively. Odds are you’ll find a previously unseen treasure, as there are plenty of titles you may well not have encountered on Acorn – series and films that were popular in the UK but not as widely known in the US.

So, brew yourself a cuppa, butter some toast, and settle in for some seriously brilliant British telly. No therapist’s bills here–just let those plummy accents soothe your stressed-out psyche!

If you’re new to Acorn TV and/or hoopla, have a look at our FAQs page to get started right away! If you need to sign up for a Marblehead library card, you can start here. And do feel free to contact Reference staff at with any further questions.

Poets, Poetry, and Film

Poetic expression often thrives in times of upheaval, as a means of mastering hardship and mustering hope. With that in mind, why not have a look at two library-curated collections of films available through hoopla that observe poets and poems doing just that: 2020 APL Poets, Poetry, & Film and 2020 APL Poets, Poetry, & TV? While poetry and film may seem to be unlikely bedfellows, you might well be amazed by how potent their artistic partnership can be!

History, culture, and sociopolitical issues often find expression in the poetic. Documentaries like O Captain, My Captain: Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War remind us that the tragedies of war and the consolations of poetry have always coexisted. Certain poets can come to embody historical eras, as is the case with the 12th-century polymath Hildegard von Bingen (Vision) and, more familiarly, Allen Ginsberg and the Beat movement in Howl. Themes of societal trauma and incarceration surface in Voices Beyond The Wall: Twelve Love Poems from The Murder Capital of The World and A Place to Stand.

Not surprisingly, a number of the films we’ve curated live at the intersections of poetry with biography or romance. Get to know the elusive Emily Dickinson in My Letter to the World or the larger-than-life Byron in a biopic starring Jonny Lee Miller. Explore relationships through a poetic lens with the suicidal lovers of Amour Fou or with former lovers awkwardly reunited in The Song of Lunch. Or just curl up and savor the romantic romp through iambic pentameter that is Shakespeare in Love.

This is just a sampling of the poetry-infused film collection available to explore on hoopla–we hope you’ll celebrate National Poetry Month with us there!

“Find Your Place” on the Abbot App Map

April 19-25 is National Library Week! This year’s theme is “Find Your Place at the Library,” which was chosen before COVID-19 forced us all to close the doors of our physical spaces. But, you can still find your place in the library! Libraries across the country have been dedicated to providing more online resources—ebooks, movies, music, virtual story times, programs, and more. Help us celebrate by diving into our virtual world!

This “app map” shows the ways you can enjoy the Abbot Public Library’s e-collections! You can access all of these by downloading the Libby, RB Digital, and hoopla apps here or in your device’s app store, or by clicking the buttons on the eBooks, Movies, and More! page to read, watch, or listen from your computer!

Comfort Food TV

Are you craving a little cinematic culinary comfort? Longing to savour a sumptuous series? The Abbot Public Library has curated a select menu of foodie-approved film and television fare just for our patrons! If you’re in the mood for a side of romance with an at-home dinner date, you may just try Ang Lee’s Eat, Drink, Man, Woman or Chocolat (this one starring Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, and Judi Dench). Or perhaps you’d like to escape our troubled present and time-travel to a Victorian dining room with Christopher Kimball in Fannie’s Last Supper, a recreation of one of Fannie Farmer’s decadent 12-course meals. We invite you to sample all of these films and more from our library-curated film collection on hoopla2020 APL Comfort Food Cinema

For some tasty kitchen-sink drama, you might also try Acorn TV’s series Delicious or Pie in the Sky; to sample menus from great British country houses of the past, take a look at Lords and Ladles. Just open your RBDigital app and search for the titles!

If your tastes run to food-filled adventure, then tune in to another of the library’s special hoopla collections: 2020 APL Comfort Food TV. Here, you can sink your teeth into some food/travel documentaries like Paul & Nick’s Big American Food Trip or No Passport Required. If tea is, well, your cup of tea, travel round the world to learn all about it with Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea on Acorn TV (again, search the title in your RBDigital app). Or get in the kitchen and get your hands messy with the pros of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country–further selections to be found in the hoopla 2020 APL Comfort Food TV collection. Your culinary quest awaits!

If you’re eager to tickle your tastebuds with these offerings (and much more) but have not yet signed up for hoopla or Acorn TV, please take a look at our FAQ page to get started. Bon appetit!