Tag Archives: hoopla

Spooky Songs and Terrifying Tunes

I’ve seen nothing but candy in stores since the middle of September.  It must be the Halloween Season.  A time for candy apples, Jack-o’-lanterns, ghosts, ghouls, zombies and witches.  At Sir William Stephenson, our Halloween books are as scarce as garlic in a vampire’s kitchen.  The same could be said for steak or is it stake?  Books are one of our most popular Halloween commodities, but, we have other treats for you to enjoy this Halloween.

The library has a huge selection of music for you to listen to and set the proper mood for a party.  What Alfred Hitchcock described as “mood music in a jugular vein.”  I’ve selected a small sample of what you can find using either Hoopla or Naxos Music Library.  Apps for both services can be downloaded to either Apple or Android devices.  You can also access these services through your computer.

I’ve grouped my selections in four categories:

  • Must haves
  • Film/TV
  • Classical
  • Halloween sounds

Must Haves

Halloween without these tunes would be like Christmas without Christmas trees or laurel without Hardy.  It just doesn’t work.

“Thriller” (Album Thriller artist Michael Jackson)  thriller

“Monster Mash” (Album The Original Monster Mash artist Bobby (Boris) Pickett)

“Purple People Eater” (Album The Purple People Eater artist Sheb Wooley)

“The Time Warp” (Album Music From the Rocky Horror Picture Showshrek 2

“Werewolves of London” (Album Excitable Boy artist Warren Zevon)

“Little Drop of Poison” (Album Shrek 2 artist Tom Waits)


No Halloween party would be complete without these staples from TV and the big screen.

“Ghostbusters theme song” (Album Ghostbusters II)

“Jaws theme song” (Album Jaws John Williams) jaws

“Halloween theme song 1978” (The Ultimate Halloween Collection: Spooky Anthems for your Haunted House)

“Once Upon a Dream” (Album Maleficent)

Psycho – Great Hitchcock Movie Thrillers

Addams Family (TV show or movie)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents Music to be Murdered By nightmare

“This is Halloween” (Album The Nightmare Before Christmas artist Danny Elfman)

“The Shining” (Album As Seen on Terrorvision Halloween Movie Hits artist The Hit Crew)


The next group of music is a selection of classical works from Naxos Music Library.

“Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” composed by Johann Sebastian Bach

“Symphonie Fantastique V Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath” composed by Hector Berlioz

“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” composed by Paul Dukas

“In the Hall of the Mountain King” composed by Edvard Grieg

“Carmina Burana: O Fortuna” composed by Carl Orff

“Dies Irae” composed by Giuseppe Verdi

“Night on Bald Mountain” composed by Modest Mussorgsky

Halloween Sounds halloween

The last group is a grab bag of albums with different sound effects.  Need the sound of a cemetery, witches’ cackle, werewolf howl, the sound of hell or demons, look no further.


I do hope you enjoy these selections and take time to explore Hoopla and Naxos to find other composers and artists.  In closing, I will leave you with a piece of advice, particularly relevant in October, from the master of suspense himself Alfred Hitchcock;  “It is a good thing to know that if ever you are staring into the darkness and you see something staring back simply say boo and it will go away.”

Thank you and goodnight.


Music to my (little) ears!

Many of us grew up singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” But how many times did you sing the song before you actually knew what a waterspout was?

When I was little, I thought a waterspout was the faucet in the bathtub. My mother could never understand why I didn’t want to get in the tub until the faucet was turned off–I was waiting for the spider to come tumbling out!

Singing songs with children provides a great opportunity to build vocabulary, and in many ways, music can act as a springboard to literacy. Singing can help children hear the smaller sounds that make up words — and this will help them sound out words when they start to read.

At the library, music and rhymes are a key component of our pre-school programming.  You can also borrow a huge stack of kids music CDs from any of our branches — or stream music directly to your phone, tablet or computer using Hoopla, a free online service available through WPL!

Here are some of the most popular CD’s for kids currently available on Hoopla!:









Operation Tender Trap


Without Valentine’s Day, February would be …well, January.  Jim Gaffigan

Can you feel the temperature rising as the countdown to Valentine’s Day begins? As a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Love your mission is to show your partner and/or family how much you really care. With less than 2 weeks to prepare an ambush you need some ammunition for your love arsenal.

Did you know that preparing food for someone is a significant act of love? Why not cook up an intimate dinner for your dearly beloved(s)?

Showcase your talents by fashioning a festive setting. Candles, flowers and wine are the usual suspects but you need to sell your artistic side and create a “tablescape”.  Decide on a pink and red theme. Borrow vintage floral patterned plates or scout thrift stores for mismatchedto make the table setting less fussy and more fun.

Enlist your children, nieces and nephews (because it’s their special day too) and construct homemade hearts to scatter over the table. Find lots of ideas for making delightful cards, love tokens and more lovely things for friends and family in:


Valentine Things to Make and Do  




Proclaim your passion with a perfect menu that says “Je t’adore”. Consult some of the following cookbooks:


Valentine Treats: Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family



celebrate     Celebrate! by Sheila Lukins





Handmade  Gatherings by Ashley English




Set the mood and stock up your CD player with sexy standards from crooners such as Sinatra or modern troubadours like Buble.







Search Naxos music database for “Valentine Classics” or Hoopla for streaming music by hot new artist Sam Smith . Beware because this may lead to dancing, what George Bernard Shaw called the  “perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.”

But can a heartwarming meal, bouquet of flowers or even a kiss convey the depth of your devotion? Cap it all off with the power of words and compose a sonnet dedicated to your heartthrob. Or recite a sure fire love poem from Love Poetry Out Loud 


Give in to the schmaltz. Resistance is futile.


Tech Tips & News for April

Phew, it’s been a busy few months around here! First we launched our RBDigital/Zinio eMagazines collection, and now we’re launching two new library services – a new library catalogue interface and a new streaming/download service for movies, music and audiobooks.  On top of that, we’re keeping tabs on new updates to existing services like OverDrive to make sure that you have the best patron experience possible. Here’s a run-down of all the recent developments in the “online” part of Winnipeg Public Library’s services:

A New Search Interface

We’ve been quite busy putting the finishing touches on our new library catalogue. If you haven’t explored it yet, there’s never been a better time, because starting today (April 22, 2014) all of our website links are set to direct you to the new site instead of the old one. If you’re curious about the new site and would like a guided tour, we’ve got that covered! Our quick visual catalogue tour covers all the basics of the new search interface. For those among us who like digging into the “how does it work” details, there’s also an extensive help document that covers all the functions and options of the catalogue/account system. As with any new product roll-out, there are bound to be kinks found and adaptations to be made after the launch. At WPL, we’re proud of our customer-driven focus and as such, welcome any feedback that you might have on the new search interface. If there’s a function that you think is missing, or would like to see added, let us know; if it’s not something that can be added at this time, we’ll try to add it in future upgrades!

What’s all the Hoopla? New Video and Music Streaming Service

banner-no-textOn April 14, Winnipeg Public Library joined forces with hoopla, an innovative new service that partners with local public libraries to bring you thousands of movies, television, music, and audiobook titles for free. All you need is your library card; enter your barcode and PIN (last four digits of your phone number) and you’ll be able to register for a hoopla digital account.

Your hoopla account allows you to borrow 10 digital items per month, and the choices range from movies and TV episodes to music (all genres, including popular chart-toppers) and audiobooks. You borrow the items for a period of time, and during that time you get to listen to them or watch them on your computer any time you want, as much as you want. If you’re planning on watching your movies/TV on a computer, you’ll need to install the Widevine plugin in your browser, as the service uses it to stream the content. You can also install the hoopla app on your mobile device and save your content for offline viewing/listening, so you can take your content with you wherever you go during your lending period. That means you can check out a movie, save it on your iPad and watch it on the plane or on your road trip!

For more details, check out our FAQ page.

Changes to the OverDrive Media Console App

OverDrive Account Screenshot

OverDrive Account splash screen on Android

In mid-April, OverDrive released the latest update to their OverDrive Media Console App for iPad/iPhone and Android. The new version includes a stronger integration of the “OverDrive Account” feature, something that hasn’t been pushed heavily by the app before. Regular users of the app might be surprised to be asked to “sign in” the first time they open the app after installing the update, and that’s because the “sign-in” process is not connected to any library account you’ve created before. An “OverDrive Account” is separate from your Library account (you sign up using an email address and new password) and is designed to allow users to sync their reading progress across several devices. The sign-up has actually been available for over a year now, but has remained hidden as a option in the Settings menu that most people chose to ignore, unless they were specifically looking for ways to read titles on more than one device.

OverDrive Account Screenshot

OverDrive Account splash screen on an iPhone

Now, the app has been modified to put the account sign up on the splash screen, making it look like a required step. It’s not; you can skip it and never be asked to sign up again, just by tapping the “Do this later” option that appears under the Sign in /Sign Up buttons on the splash screen. If you do want to sign up for the OverDrive Account, though, tap the Sign up button and you’ll be taken to a page where you can enter your email address and a new password, which will be stored on the OverDrive cloud server and will allow your reading progress to be updated on all the devices that you use to read your books. That means that if you have an iPad and an iPhone both running OverDrive, you can start reading on the larger screen at breakfast, then leave for work and pick up where you left off reading while you’re riding the bus. Signing in to your OverDrive Account on a new device will also take care of the “Adobe ID” authorization on the new device, as that info is stored in your cloud account. If there are questions or issues, please send them to us as we’re always happy to offer help/troubleshooting tips. Happy eReading! – Sophie