Library Card Sign-Up Month | Take a Trip Through Our Digital Media Portal

By Peter SM RSS Wed, September 18, 2019

You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of entertainment. Next stop, the Free Library of Philadelphia's Digital Media Portal!

In these technologically advanced times of binge-watching and on-demand content, it may seem like we are living in a version of the Twilight Zone—there is certainly no shortage of media and entertainment that viewers can consume at the streaming swipe of a touchscreen or virtual button press on any number of electronic devices.

Of course, it will cost you.

Well, don't give the media conglomerates your entire paycheck just yet when you can still access hours upon hours of robust content for free through our website, databases, and online resources.

As we continue through National Library Card Sign-Up Month, today we'll surf, swipe, and stream through all of the Free Library's digital media offerings available—for free—with a library card!

ebooks, Audiobooks, and even Comic Books
Overdrive is still our most popular digital service we offer for those who want to download and borrow ebooks and audiobooks. Hoopla comes in a close second with 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 what's great about Hoopla is that there are no holds or waiting lists—you get easy and instant access to the ebooks you want to read and audiobooks you want to listen to immediately! Hoopla is also 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, and Fantagraphics, just to name a few. Titles are available for 21 days after you borrow them, for streaming and downloading (mobile devices only).

Movies and Television
Hoopla and Kanopy both offer on-demand streaming of movies and television to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can also use both services 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 stream 4 titles per month from each service.


Hoopla (once again) has a diverse selection of popular music available for download and streaming, available for 7 days after you borrow a title. You can also check out tunes from our other musical databases like Contemporary World MusicAmerican SongClassical Music Library, and Jazz Music Library 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 is available, while borrowing limits and loan periods vary per digital resource.

Newspapers and Magazines
There's no excuse to read Fake News when you can access trusted local newspapers like Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News without having to contend with their paywalls, but you 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. 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!

Podcasts and Videos
Listen to great conversations with interesting personalities anytime you like from the over 1,700 archived Author Events' podcasts on our website! We even a dedicated YouTube channel now with an archive of over 450 Author Events videos and counting, and even watch live broadcasts of select Author Events as they happen in real time!


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 and 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!

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grateful for public resources
Justin Talbott - philadelphia
Wednesday, November 20, 2019