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Your LA library card can save you thousands of dollars, here's how

Your LA library card can save you thousands of dollars, here's how

You may not know it—I sure didn’t—but your L.A. County and L.A. Public Library cards come with some insane benefits. The most obvious is, of course, being able to freely check out almost any library book, graphic novel and movie, but let’s talk about the other free perks that are, quite literally, at your fingertips. Whether you live in Santa Monica or Downtown Los Angeles, your library card gives you access to some pretty killer subscription services that you would have to shell out hundreds of dollars for otherwise. We combed through all the offers available via both the County of Los Angeles Public Library and Los Angeles Public Library networks (yes, they’re different) and highlighted the absolute best deals. All you’ll need is your library card number. We’ll go through what makes each of them uniquely amazing and tally up just how much you could save each year by taking full advantage of these perks.

1. is one of the best online resources for instructional videos on almost any topic. Their mind-blowingly extensive library includes high-quality videos that cover subjects like software, creative and business skills (think: Photoshop, graphic design, marketing and so much more).



Sign up with your County card
Sign up with your LAPL card

Yearly savings: $420

2. Zinio

Zinio offers access to digital magazines; its library portal has more than 360 titles available for download, with no limit or return period. Their selection is super impressive and includes dozens of high-profile titles like Vogue, National Geographic, Wired, Rolling Stone and on and on and on…




Sign up with your County card
Sign up with your LAPL card

Yearly savings: $3.99 - $4000+

3. Mango Languages

Learning a new language can be daunting, but Mango Languages makes the experience much more manageable and accessible. It, quite impressively, boasts resources for more than 70 languages, including apps on IOS and Android. With classes for all ages and a sleek interface, this might the resources that’ll finally help you remember everything you forgot in high school French.



Sign up with your County card
Sign up with your LAPL card

Yearly savings: $175

4. Hoopla

Want to read a book on your tablet but don’t want to pay for it? Hoopla is the answer you’ve been looking for. It offers a vast selection of ebooks, audiobooks, comic books and movies that you can easily “check out” and seamlessly enjoy on your desktop or IOS/Android device.




Sign up with your County card
Sign up with your LAPL card

Yearly savings: $5 - $1,000+

5. is your best bet when it comes to live, one-on-one help for academic studies, resume advice and test prep. Services are available for both students and adults, and could be just the right thing to make your resume stand out while hunting for that dream job.




Sign up with your County card
Sign up with your LAPL card 

Yearly savings: $4,080

6. Freegal

Tired of spending $1.25 every time you want to download a song? Well, Freegal is here to save you, kind of. With your library card, Freegal lets you download up to 3 songs each week. Their selection can’t match iTunes, but it's still plenty impressive with artist like Adele, David Bowie and Beyoncé.



Sign up with your County card
Sign up with your LAPL card

Yearly savings: $195

Totally yearly savings: $9869+

Okay, so that total is definitely assuming you were to read every magazine or have a session with a live tutor for 10 hours a month, but the point is that your free library card is a great deal.



Stephen B

For word nerds (like me), you can also use the digital, unabridged Oxford English dictionary. Access by signing in and then clicking the "Databases" menu. As a writer of historical dramas and novels, the thing I love about this resource is that it tells you the earliest date the word was used in print. 

Without your library card, the annual subscription costs $295.

Adam S is not on the list of resources.  Can you post the link, if it's there and I just can't find it? 


The tutor and mango links didn't work.

Oscar G

It'll probably also get you access to other libraries.  Oh, but not Santa Monica: While other cities have reciprocal arrangements for users of each others' libraries, Santa Hypocritica refuses to play along.  Surprising?  Hardly.

Jennifer G

This is great. Just wish the profanity was left out so I could share it with the parents of my students.

Oscar G

@Jennifer G

...wish the profanity WERE left out.

Hopefully those aren't English students.

robert s

@Oscar G @Jennifer G "Profanity" is a collective noun here, referring to the entire ensemble. I think Jennifer's verb agreement is correct That's just my completely unsolicited opinion.

Jay G

@robert s

The plurality wasn't what Oscar was pointing out, I think. It was the use of the subjunctive "were" in a conditional statement (rather than indicative).

David J B

I agree that Overdrive was a big oversight, no pun intended. A wide, wide assortment of books, magazines and audiobooks, your LA Public Library card lets you check out up to 30 titles at a time and have 20 on hold. Books can be read through Overdrive's app or sent to your Kindle.

Mindy K

They also have research librarians who will help you and/or research topics for you. I recently had a research librarian compile a list of links to entities that provide grants for solar and other forms of energy conservation.

Sarah N

You missed overdrive, which is a big one!

Chelsea G

I love this! I'm a library die-hard.  The Beverly Hills one is like my Cheers.

Scott F

the mango link doesn't work =(

Pat L

Thank you for compiling this information.  I'm going to Pin it.

Edwin R

I use most of these! Freegal let's you download 5 songs every week though, not every month.