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What you can get for free at the New York Public Library: tablets, English courses, and more


Alina Prikhodko

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It's almost impossible to get bored in New York. In a city full of interesting and exciting activities and new places, you always need to find time to expand your knowledge and learn new things. The best option for such knowledge is the local library. Secret nyc talked about 12 free library card benefits.

Thanks to it, you can not only get free access to the city's many museums, but also learn a language, rent vinyl records and even get free seeds for your garden.

Before apply for a library card, it is important to know that not all library cards provide the same access. There are three library systems in New York: New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library и Queens public library.

The New York Public Library card will give you access to all libraries in the five boroughs, while the Brooklyn and Queens cards only give you privileges in their respective boroughs.

1. Cultural pass

With culture pass you will be able to visit more than 80 cultural institutions for free. You'll get access to the Museum of Arts and Design, Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, New York Botanical Garden, The Guggenheim and more.

2. Learn languages

Mango Languages is an interactive database that contains step-by-step lesson plans for 71 languages. It provides ESL lessons for speakers of Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese.


3. Read newspapers

PressReader provides in full-color, full-page format, current newspapers not only from American but also from foreign media. Your library card provides access to current newspapers from around the world.

4. Gain Career Skills

LinkedIn Learning is an online educational platform that offers thousands of courses in various fields: web development, education, media production and business. It provides users with the ability to find, attend, and track courses related to their interests and areas of expertise.

On the subject: What books did New Yorkers read in 2023: top from the city library

5. Flip through magazines

Flipster is a digital source that provides access to more than 100 of the most popular magazines, including Bon Appétit, Sports Illustrated, Time and People. Just find the one you are interested in and select the “Read this issue” option.


6. Get an e-reader

simplyE lets you browse and read instantly 300+ books—from bestsellers to classics—anytime, anywhere.

7. Prepare for tests

You have the opportunity to prepare for academic, government, military and professional exams with special materials and interactive practice exams with LearningExpress. Improve your scores on the PSAT, SAT, GED replacement, TASC and more.


8. Rent a musical instrument

The Brooklyn Public Library has opened the first ever public library to lend musical instruments. Now, thanks to a partnership with the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, visitors can borrow one for an entire month. View the full list of tools and find out how to rent them, here.

On the subject: Top 10 Best New York Libraries to Spend a Day in

9. Book your free time at recording studios

Whether you enjoy playing instruments or not, your library card can help you book free studio time to record a demo. The maximum duration of a session is three hours; Each cardholder has the right to book it no more than twice a calendar month.


10. Listen to vinyl records

Brooklyn Public Library has vinyl library records, available to library card holders. In it you will find 400 albums of all genres. With a card, you can listen to music on the ground floor of the library, and also take it home for a maximum of three weeks.

11. Free seeds for growing plants

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library at NYPL offers a library of organic (non-GMO) seeds so visitors can grow vegetables, flowers or herbs in the comfort of their own home. SNFL is located at 455 Fifth Avenue—diagonally across from the Patience stone lion that stands on the south side of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. IN Collection there are seeds of basil, marigold, zinnia, pepper and other plants.


12. Tablets and Internet access

Access to electronics and Wi-Fi is provided free of charge in all library branches. But did you know that with your library card you can take tablets and Wi-Fi hotspots home? This program is made possible by the Emergency Connectivity Fund. IN program Students, school staff and library visitors are welcome to participate.

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