DCA brings bestselling multimedia kids app to UK public libraries

Today sees the launch of a new public library version of the Hopster pre-school app which will be made free to selected users in four local authorities: Camden, Richmond & Wandsworth, Slough and Brighton & Hove. This is the first time that Hopster’s unique mix of proven educational content and branded characters, including Fireman Sam, Thomas the Tank Engine, Pingu, and Peppa Pig, has been made available to library users.

Consumer demand for Hopster’s multimedia collection of ebooks, games, videos and audio has grown strongly through the lockdown. Now Hopster’s award-winning app is accessible for free to users of participating libraries and this is also the first time that any UK library has circulated a children’s mobile app. Most of this content has never before been available in libraries in any digital format.

The launch represents the culmination of over 12 months’ work between library agents DCA and Hopster TV staff to develop an access model for library users via an innovative voucher redemption system. One of the benefits of the voucher model is that it allows libraries to prioritise parents and children in specific groups. Brighton & Hove libraries have partnered with local charity Amaze to target the offer to families with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  This is one of the first times that a UK library has prioritised access to specific content directly to vulnerable families and is a great example of how libraries support their local communities.

The closure of nurseries and schools has led parents to look for new sources of content to educate and entertain their children.  Libraries have proved eager to meet this challenge and have responded by bolstering their current e-resources and taking on new content. The deployment of the Hopster app by these trailblazing libraries represents a step-change in library provision in the UK and should be welcome news to anyone concerned with the future of our library system. 

Marie Baker, of Amaze in Brighton, writes: 

“Lock-down has been particularly difficult for families with children who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) so the opportunity to offer Brighton & Hove Compass Card families a year-long subscription to Hopster has been amazing.  This will give children something new, fun and educational to do just as we hear that the lockdown will continue for a few more weeks.  We are very grateful DCA, Hopster and Brighton & Hove City Libraries for making this happen.”

Hilary Ballard and Donna Henderson of SELMS library consortium commented:

“As always SELMS fully support partner authorities in their bid to bring new and innovative ideas to their customers. In these trying times it is essential to provide our communities affordable and accessible outlets of amusement and education.  Hopster is one such product.  With families struggling to keep their children entertained, Hopster provides an array of kid-safe content in an easy to use digital format.  Shows, games, books, music and early years learning experiences.  Promoting literacy, numeracy and creativity, all the things libraries do and stand for.  Hopster takes the library experience to the child.”

Nicola Everitt, DCA’s Marketing Manager said:

“It’s exciting for us to be working with the wonderful libraries in this group to serve their users with the outstanding Hopster app. We’re very grateful to Hopster for their support and determination to make this happen and to the librarians for recognising the potential of this content. Several of the libraries in the group have said that they plan to make the app available to vulnerable families first, which shows how libraries are stepping up to make a real difference today. We would also like to thank the SELMS buying group, who have worked hard to bring Hopster to their libraries. We look forward to promoting the app with them and are confident that more libraries will join us in this groundbreaking project to help keep kids learning and entertained.”

About Hopster

Hopster is a beautifully designed app for the under-sixes, aiming to strike the perfect balance between learning and fun. Hopster subscribers get access to a large selection of kid’s TV shows, stimulating learning games, nursery rhymes and music. Hopster is trusted by millions of parents worldwide to keep their kids amazed with fun educational content in a safe and ad-free environment. It has topped the App Store charts in over 36 countries,
was named Best Streaming Video Platform for pre-schoolers by Kidscreen and has received a channel nomination at the Children’s BAFTA in 2019 and 2018.