10 Free Uses for Your Library Card (Beyond Checking Out Books)

What does your library card offer? Hint: So much more than a lifetime supply of books. Ask if your library offers any of these free perks.

Library Card Freebies

Trips to the Museum

organizations like RAD Pass in Pittsburgh connect library cardholders to their region’s cultural attractions and museums for free. Your local library may give patrons access to galleries, gardens, zoos, museums and institutions. radpass.org

Audiobooks and eBooks

Want to read a book on your tablet without paying for it? All you need is a library card and Libby, a free app that taps into your library system to offer thousands of ebooks and audiobooks for a specific loan period. Read across any device or stream audiobooks through Apple CarPlay or a Bluetooth connection. Available in the App Store and on Google Play

Web Access

For anyone in need of internet at home or on the road, many libraries, including the Chicago Public Library, let cardholders check out mobile Wi-Fi hotspot devices for certain periods of time.

Investment Savvy

Many public libraries have a subscription to the otherwise fee-based morning stara database with real-time investment research, global market data and analysis.

Language Lessons

Language-learning can be daunting, so why not try it for free? Through thousands of public libraries in the US, you can access Mangowhich has online resources for all ages and in more than 70 tongues. mangolanguages.com

Award-Winning Entertainment

Moonlight, Lady Bird, Parasite. Those are just a few of the Oscar-winning flicks available on canopyan on-demand streaming service with a vast collection of free movies and TV series for library partners. kanopy.com

Career Assistance

Ask your library about its career services, which may include LinkedIn Learning subscriptions (for expert-led online courses), job training, résumé help or a just a place to hold your Zoom interview. The New York Public Library even has a fashion-lending department, where interviewees can borrow ties, briefcases, suits and more.

A Music Library

shift through hooplaanother library media service that allows you to check out movies, TV shows, books and comics while also offering downloadable music. hoopladigital.com

News to Use

PressReader subscriptions, an all-you-can-read platform of more than 7,000 newspapers, magazines and educational publications, are free for many library cardholders. pressreader.com

Gardening Advice

Seed lending programs have become popular for library-goers, no matter their horticulture knowledge. Borrowers “check out” a packet of seeds, plant them, harvest them and eventually return seeds for future lending.

Next, 9 of America’s Most Beautiful Libraries


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