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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Chicago Public Library goes underground with new CTA service

Written by
Jonathan Samples

Travel on the El just got a bit more interesting, thanks to a new partnership between the Chicago Public Library and Chicago Transit Authority. Riders on the Red and Blue lines now have access to a variety of Chicago-centric digital content, such as articles, blogs, e-books and quizzes. The CTA and CPL announced the initiative today, which will run through the CTA's 4G wireless network.

Using a smartphone or digital device, commuters can browse content that’s been curated by the CPL and with an emphasis on works by Chicago authors. The library’s partnership with Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) also gives riders with or without a library card additional access to free books, movies and music, all of which is available at

“This innovative program will introduce Chicagoans to a new generation of talented, creative authors and works to enhance library services for our residents,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a press release announcing the new initiative.

CTA riders will also have the option to sign up for a library e-card, which the library says will put even more free content (e-magazines, e-books, audiobooks, streaming music and movies) at their fingertips. And to help guide commuters to the library’s digital offerings, the CTA and CPL are planning to launch a joint marketing campaign early next year. 

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