DEEP DIVE

Get Free Books, Movies, and Music

All you need is a library card and these apps.

Did you know you have access to hundreds of thousands of ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music, and even comic books—all for free? All you need is a library card.

Log in to these apps with your library card number to open an entire universe of entertainment. (Don’t have a library card? Now’s the time to get one!)

Ebooks and audiobooks

‣ Just as local librarians curate the selection of physical books in your library, they also select the digital content on Libby, taking into account your community’s needs and tastes. Browse the catalog or themed collections and grab an ebook or audiobook to enjoy right now.

As is the case with paper books, each library has limited copies of its digital titles. If the one you want is already checked out, place a hold to have your selection automatically delivered to your iPhone or iPad when available.

Best of all, when your loan is due, it returns itself—which means you’ll never incur a late fee.

    Libby, by OverDrive

    Library ebooks and audiobooks

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Movies

Kanopy is dedicated solely to videos, from feature films (both recent and decades old) to educational and engaging options for kids. The app pulls material from more than 4,000 public libraries and campuses worldwide, including the New York and Los Angeles Public Libraries as well as Harvard and Stanford Universities.

While the Movie category features several thousand choices broken into a dozen genres such as Comedy and Drama to Classic and Independent Cinemas, you won’t find any mega box office blockbusters here. The beauty of Kanopy is coming across old films you might have forgotten about or never seen (His Girl Friday, Bicycle Thieves) or discovering obscure titles that would never have crossed your radar otherwise, like foreign films from Italy or Africa, or Sundance award-winners that didn’t hit a theater near you.

There is a treasure trove of films (more than 5,000) in the Documentaries category, where you’ll even find business-school case studies—often complete with accompanying course literature. It’s also worth noting that the app’s K–12 lessons, for kids and teens, focus on subjects such as Earth science and American history.

    Kanopy

    Thoughtful Entertainment

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Music and comics

‣ Then there’s Hoopla, a massive repository of streaming options from more than 1,500 libraries. Find thousands of ebooks and audiobooks and tens of thousands of movies (even some Hollywood hits). But the reason to really love this app is for the music: More than 250,000 albums are available.

Hoopla features current hit artists (Ellie Goulding, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Katy Perry), the all-time greats (Bob Marley, Joni Mitchell, Neil Diamond), and tyke-friendly tunes, like Kidz Bop. New releases are often added at the same time as other music streaming services. You can also download full albums for offline listening.

Another cool thing to check out: comic books. Whether you’re into the Avengers, X-Men, or the Justice League, the gang’s all here.