8 Unexpected Perks of a Library Card

published Mar 1, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
The Maison de la Littérature library in Quebec City, Canada. (Image credit: Alesia Kazantceva/Unsplash)

If you thought your library card was only good for borrowing books, then think again. Turns out you can score access to all sorts of awesome stuff with nothing more than your library card—usually for free. Don’t believe us? Here are eight things you probably didn’t realize you could do with your library card.

1. Stream movies

Who knew your library card could also grant you access to some pretty cool streaming platforms? Sites such as Kanopy, which features over 30,000 films, and Hoopla are accessible by card members from select libraries across the country, so you can stream all kinds of movies (blockbusters, indie films, documentaries, etc.) for free.

2. Museum passes

Dreaming of spending a day at the art museum, but don’t have the spare cash for admission? Programs such as Culture Pass and Museum Pass allow you to use your library card to access dozens of cultural institutions throughout your city—just check with your local branch to find out more details.

(Image credit: Javier Díez/Stocksy)

3. Download e-books and more

Avid e-readers rejoice: You can use your library card to borrow and download e-books, audiobooks, and more directly to your personal devices, thanks to apps like Overdrive and SimplyE.

4. Learn a language

Itching to learn a new language but don’t have the money for classes? Mango Languages offers step-by-step lessons for learning more than 70 different languages, and is totally free for library cardholders.

5. Get some new career skills

If you’ve already got a library card, why not use it to score some sweet new career skills? Apps like Lynda offer thousands of online courses taught by experts in fields such as web development, education, media production, and business—all free of charge.

(Image credit: Viv Yapp)

6. Read newspapers and magazines

Still a fan of old-school magazines and newspapers? Apps such as PressReader, which provides online access to all kinds of current newspaper titles in full-color, full-page format and Flipster, an online magazine database, are all yours.

7. Prep for a test

Whether you’re planning on taking the SAT or a military exam, platforms like LearningExpress can help you improve your score on everything from academic tests to professional certification exams, and are free to use with your library card.

8. Free movie and music rentals

Feeling nostalgic? Don’t forget that the library is filled with old school CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray movies that you can peruse and borrow—sans the crazy video store late fees!