As we continue through National Library Card Sign-Up Month, we've already discussed how a library card grants you instant access to a treasure trove of books, DVDs, and audiobooks from our catalog, or how you can use your library card to check out (literally!) unique lending items like musical instruments, cake pans, ties, nature backpacks, and even health-related items such as food scales and blood pressure cuffs.
Today we'll dive into the digital offerings available with your library card, and there is no shortage of media to access and enjoy!
Most patrons are already familiar with Overdrive, as it is still the preeminent service we offer for those who want to download and borrow ebooks and audiobooks, but we've also been adding more robust, on-demand digital media services in recent years that multiply your streaming and downloadable media choices. The best thing about these new services is there are no holds or waiting lists like with traditional physical lending or even ebook lending!
Movies and Television
Hoopla and Kanopy both offer on-demand streaming of movies and television to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. As of earlier this year, you can also now use both Hoopla and Kanopy on your Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Android TV! Hoopla skews more towards mainstream Hollywood movies of all genres and children's programs, while Kanopy's specialty is award-winning documentaries, rare and hard-to-find titles, indies, foreign, and classic films, with collections from Criterion, Kino Lorber, and PBS. You can check out 4 titles per month from each service.
ebooks, Audiobooks, and Comic Books
Hoopla shines once again when it comes to their reading selections, which easily rival Overdrive's when it comes to genres and authors, new and old titles, bestsellers and harder to find gems. And again, the best part is there are no holds or waiting lists--you get easy instant access to the ebooks you want to read and audiobooks you want to listen to on the go! Hoopla is also becoming one of the go-to places to check out comic books and graphic novels online, boasting selections from classic storylines to new adventures from publishers such as Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, IDW, Fantagraphics, and Valiant, just to name a few. Titles are available for 21 days after you borrow them, for streaming and downloading (mobile devices only).
For the hat trick, Hoopla has a diverse selection of popular music available for download and streaming, available for 7 days after you borrow them, for streaming and downloading (mobile devices only). You can check out tunes from our Contemporary World Music, American Song, Classical Music Library, and Jazz Music Library databases for Reggae, worldbeat, neo-traditional, world fusion, Balkanic jazz, African film, Bollywood, Arab swing and jazz, and other genres such as traditional Indian classical, fado, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, gagaku, and more. Downloading and streaming available, borrowing limits and loan periods vary per resource.
Newspapers and Magazines
In 2018, there's never been a time where news and information is more readily available at the touch of a button, but finding reliable news sources is still important. The Free Library has resources and tips to Help Spot Fake News and keep you well-informed. You not only can access local newspapers like Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News without having to contend with their paywalls, but you now also have free access to the New York Times and all NYT mobile apps, as well as the paper's international editions! When you're done reading the news of the world and want to kick back and relax with something a little less heady, check out a magazine from RBDigital Magazines (formerly Zinio). Select from lifestyle, science, cooking, tech, fashion, and pop culture publications. There is no limit to the amount of publications you can borrow either, so read til your heart's (and mind's) content!
Listen to great conversations with authors anytime you like from the over 1600 archived Author Events' podcasts on our website!
Whew! That's a lot of entertainment—all for free with your library card!
If you already have a card and want to start exploring all of the above digital content, head over to our Digital Media Portal and Database pages.
Need help getting one of the above apps to work with your device? Reference our Digital Media Guide or stop by an upcoming E-Gadget Helpdesk event.
Don't have a library card but don't want to miss out on all this great streaming and downloadable media? Sign-up for one today online or in person at any one of our neighborhood library locations around the city!