We’ll soon be bidding farewell to Library Card Sign-Up Month (although, let’s be honest, EVERY month is a good month to get your library card!), but before we do, we wanted to check in with a few of our trusty Free Library staff members and ask them...
What is the best thing about a library card?
"My favorite thing about my library card is the power to borrow pretty much anything! If the Free Library doesn’t own a book I want to read, because not even we can own everything, I can use Interlibrary Loan. This means that, for free, I can request a book and another library will lend it to me. I have read books that came from North Carolina, California, and the suburbs of Philly!" - Mary W., Parkway Central Library Children's Department
"I’ve been taking out cookbooks to try before I buy and get inspiration for new dinner ideas." - Taylor L., Foundation
"Audiobooks from Overdrive and Hoopla – because how else would I get all that running done?!" - Autumn M., Strategic Initiatives
"Database usage. It’s really important in this day and age to have access to authoritative and reliable primary and secondary information sources." - Joe S., Rare Book Department
"Over 300,000 ebooks; over 60,000 digital audiobooks; over 25,000 streaming movies (rare, classic, and premium films from the Criterion Collection, Kino Lorber, and First Run Features!); over 350,000 streaming music (full albums from Prince, Kate Bush, Aretha Franklin, and 90s indie rockers Sloan and Eric’s Trip!); over 25,000 digital journals, magazines, and newspapers (especially free access to the New York Times!)" - Jamie B., Materials Management
"Pretty straightforward, but my favorite service is getting to put items on hold and get them sent to my local library." - Abby T., Read by 4th
"I think more Philadelphians should know that their library card not only grants them access to the millions of items we lend here in Philadelphia and the roughly 150 premium electronic resources to which we subscribe, but it also provides access to the collections of libraries across the US and beyond through our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) office. If you can find a book, movie, or sound recording on WorldCat that the Free Library doesn't already own, chances are ILL can get it for you and in most cases for free. It's a beautiful testimonial to the depth to which we librarians believe in sharing. The belief is practically international in scope!" - Adam F., Parkway Central Library
"I can check out hundreds of comic books a year for free – I literally save thousands of dollars a year!" - Rachel F., Materials Management
"I think the ebooks and audiobooks are the best thing. Second place are the magazines and online courses." - Ruth A., Foundation
"My two favorite things to do with a library card are: New York Times access from anywhere, and being able to download kids audiobooks for long car rides." - Joel N., Strategic Initiatives
"I adore Overdrive. I’ve read so many unbelievable books on my phone, for free—in the train, in waiting rooms, wherever I am." - Andrew W., Volunteer Services
"Streaming documentaries from Kanopy, Graphic Novels and Comic Book collections from Hoopla, Audiobooks from Overdrive, Author Event Podcasts—I never have a shortage of digital media to watch, listen to, or read!" - Peter SM, Web Editor
So, that’s what the experts have to say!
What about you? What is YOUR favorite thing to do with your Free Library card?