Save Money on Movies and More With These Free Library Apps

The general public library graduated from being merely a repository of books many years in the past. At present, the general public library is plugged into the digital world in some ways.

Do you wish to stream music, films and audiobooks? Try 100 magazines? Study a brand new ability? You are able to do all of this by way of your native public library free of charge with their broad providing of free apps.

Even higher, you don’t must be at a library to make use of these instruments, although you do want a library card out of your native library. When you’ve acquired that, you may expertise these assets at house or on-the-go. FYI, among the content material — like explicit films or magazines — could fluctuate from library to library.

Content material might be accessed on any machine on which you may have Web — smartphones, tablets, laptops and good TVs.

5 Free Streaming Apps From the Library

  • Hoopla
  • Kanopy
  • OverDrive
  • LinkedIn Studying
  • BookBoon

1. Hoopla

With Hoopla streaming service, you may watch films and TV reveals, take heed to music and audiobooks and browse eBooks or comics. They’ve acquired tons of recent releases, reminiscent of “The Tune of Achilles” by Madeline Miller and “Native Lady Lacking” by Mary Kubica along with classics you could wish to re-read, just like the Harry Potter collection. Plus, the location is fantastically designed, each as a desktop browser and app. (Try the app through Apple, Google and Amazon.) Your library could restrict what number of titles you may try with Hoopla however some are as liberal as 10 objects per thirty days. .

Right here’s how one can get probably the most out of this service:


Get pumped with the soulful beats of Harry Types newest albums (for those who haven’t listened to “Harry’s Home” you’re completely lacking out) or the resilient tunes penned by Fiona Apple on “Fetch the Bolt Cutters.” The children will assume you’re one of the best once you blast the “Encanto” soundtrack. One other bonus: It’s ad-free leisure. When you add a musician to your favorites part, Hoopla will let you recognize the following time it acquires one in all their albums.


Hoopla shines on this style. Like to get misplaced in an important historic fiction learn? It’s time to take heed to “The Misplaced Apothecary” by Sarah Penner. When you get pleasure from falling asleep to a narrative, Hoopla’s “sleep timer” will allow you to drift off with out lacking a chapter. Browse the listings and begin making your must-listen listing.

Films and TV Exhibits

Searching for a brand new favourite film? Hoopla will match you to new content material based mostly on what you’ve already watched or you may search by yourself for one thing new. They’ve acquired loads of new releases, reminiscent of the newest seasons of “Father Brown,” “Discovering Alice,” and Murdoch Mysteries.”

Many public libraries have partnered with cell apps like Hoopla (pictured) to supply free streaming music, films, audiobooks and ebooks. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder


With Hoopla, you’ll by no means have to attend for an eBook to turn into out there to take a look at identical to at a brick-and-mortar library. You’ll even have a due date, when it’ll magically disappear out of your machine, and it’ll be returned to Hoopla. If they’ve the title you need, you may learn it instantly. They appear to have extra mysteries and romance novels than different genres, however they inventory so many eBooks, it’s best to have the ability to discover some you want. Try “The Lady within the Library” by Sulari Gentill, “George Michael” by James Gavin or “All of the Fairly Women” by J.T. Ellison.

Graphic Novels and Comics

You’ll be impressed by Hoopla’s selection. We’re keen on “Slaughterhouse-5” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., however you must also try “Paris” by Andi Watson and “Ghosts of Science Previous” by Joseph Sieracki.

When you get pleasure from streaming audiobooks, films and music by way of Hoopla, you may even cancel your Audible, Netflix and Spotify accounts. Canceling Audible would save not less than $8 per thirty days, canceling Netflix would prevent not less than $9.99 a month and canceling Spotify Premium would prevent not less than $9.99 a month.

2. Kanopy

Flip to Kanopy for those who’re searching for free of charge films, says Gabi Toth, senior grownup companies and programming librarian in Massachusetts who additionally makes a speciality of library streaming apps. They’ve hundreds of documentaries and flicks out there, reminiscent of “Woman Chicken,” “The Central Park 5” and “Depart No Hint.” Kanopy additionally makes a speciality of documentaries, and is accessed by way of your public  or college library. All you want is a library card.

3. OverDrive

OverDrive is finest recognized for its number of ebooks and magazines, although you too can lease films and audiobooks. College students could get faculty ebooks and audiobooks through Sora, a brand new free studying app particularly for college kids by OverDrive.

You need to use the desktop browser or the cell app. If you wish to use the app, you’ll must first obtain the Libby app.

With its cartoon of a smiling librarian, Libby is designed to welcome first-time customers. Use it to learn eBooks and take heed to audiobooks lots of which have lengthy waits for those who go to the library to get a paper copy.

Keep in mind after I mentioned you may solely try a sure variety of titles a month by way of Hoopla? That’s why you additionally want OverDrive. This streaming service affords an infinite variety of movies, eBooks and audiobooks.

By means of my library system, OverDrive makes you anticipate a title to turn into out there earlier than you may test it out. Which means you’ll have to be on maintain for some time earlier than you may view a preferred ebook however the wait isn’t normally longer than every week or two. It’s because the library’s license limits downloads.

When you use the Libby app, it’ll let you know precisely how lengthy you’ll have to attend earlier than a title turns into out there. You can too hold monitor of your eBooks with emoji scores: thumbs up (cherished it), thumbs down (hated it) or a stack of books (wish to learn).

OverDrive has a large assortment of widespread titles. Right here’s a pattern of what’s out there:


Try Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel “Malibu Rising ” which feels just like the juiciest, gossipy, well-written story ever. EBooks are extremely widespread through OverDrive, with 506 million eBook and audio books, ebooks and digital magazines checked out in 2021, based on the corporate. Widespread genres are youngsters’s books, younger grownup fiction and non-fiction, comics and graphic novels. The highest three eBooks checked out in 2020 had been “The place the Crawdogs Sing” by Delia Owens, “Changing into” by Michelle Obama and “Educated” by Tara Westover.


“Silver Linings Playbook” could have been launched in 2012, however the chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence is timeless. When you’re fearful about what your youngsters could watch, you should use “viewers filters” to ensure your youngsters are shopping age-appropriate content material.


Try “The Invisible Lifetime of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab. It’s a thriller about what occurs once you trade your soul to be able to reside perpetually.

When you use OverDrive and Hoopla collectively, it can save you about $38 by canceling Netflix, Spotify and Audible and by buying fewer eBooks.

4. LinkedIn Studying

LinkedIn Studying (previously is a platform for on-line coaching that boasts greater than 13,000 programs in software program improvement, design, enterprise, net improvement, images and extra.

As of July 2022, LinkedIn Studying prices $29.99 per thirty days for a fundamental subscription or $19.99 per thirty days for an annual one (each choices include a one-month free trial).  So for those who use your library account to entry its companies, you’re saving as much as almost $30 a month.

5. BookBoon

Specializing in eTextbooks, BookBoon will allow you to skip the school bookstore tab. They’ve greater than 1,500 free eTextbooks on all the things from engineering to tutorial writing. When you want extra  or have a university scholar – you could must improve to the $6 per thirty days model (the primary 30 days are free). The typical full-time undergrad at a four-year faculty spends $1,240 a yr on books, based on current information from the School Board. So this financial savings could minimize down on faculty payments considerably.

How A lot Can You Save Utilizing Free Library Apps?

Utilizing Hoopla and OverDrive as a substitute of Netflix, Audible, Spotify and Amazon eBooks may prevent $38 a month. Studying by way of LinkedIn Studying may prevent $20 to $30.  Studying textbooks by way of BookBoon can save about $1,200 yearly you probably have a scholar in the home. That’s a complete of $158 to $167 a month in financial savings.

Do you continue to really feel not sure about utilizing these assets? Are you questioning whether or not your explicit library affords all of them? Go to your native librarian or chat with one on-line. (Some states, like Florida, provide digital librarians.) They’ll be thrilled to indicate you the world of on-line instruments.

Danielle Braff is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

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