Check Out What Else You Can Do With A Library Card

A membership to Cincinnati’s public library unlocks more than reading materials and movies—you can also access small business help, meals, language resources, telescopes, and more.

Photograph courtesy Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library

Have you “checked out” what your library card is capable of? Whether you’re saving for your upcoming vacation, or love a good deal almost as much as Graeter’s, we have you covered.


The Makerspace through the Cincinnati Public Library is a great way for people to get in touch with their creative side. Reservations can be made online for equipment ranging from 3D printers and laser engravers to a photo studio and a recording booth. 

Discovery Passes

From the Cincinnati Museum Center to the American Sign Museum, free passes can be reserved online, and some can even be downloaded straight to your phone. With the money that you save on admissions, you can check out some of our other places to explore, and quickly have a staycation itinerary that’s Instagram-worthy. 


Yes, you read that right. You can rent a telescope for seven days absolutely free. With spring in full swing, many people are looking for low-cost things to do outside. If you’re unable to make it to the Cincinnati Observatory, fear not! Your rental also includes two eye-pieces, a reflex sight, star chart, and training from a staff member. 

Free Meals

In addition to educational resources, the Cincinnati Public Library is fighting childhood hunger by offering free meals to anyone under age 18 Monday through Friday after school. 

Passport Services

Heading abroad soon? Head to the library first. While passport services are currently available through appointment only, many people don’t know that you can receive one-on-one help and apply for a passport through the Cincinnati Public Library.

Learn a New Language

After you get your new passport, you can use your library card to access online learning to teach yourself over 100 languages. In addition to other adult learning opportunities, this is perfect preparation for your next international excursion.

Small Business Help

From free counseling on permits to help applying for grants and loans, most aspiring entrepreneurs don’t think of the power of a library card when drafting their business plan. If you’ve ever thought about starting your own business, head on down to your nearest Cincinnati-Hamilton County Public Library branch. 

More Free Resources at Your Fingertips

Your Cincinnati public library card also unlocks a bevy of online resources and free services, including Libby for eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and read-along books; Freading, which offers more eBooks and Disney graphic novels, SparkNotes study guides, and other materials; Freegal which has 18 million songs available to stream or download; Kanopy, a streaming library with over 3,000 titles; Hoopla for more films, TV shows, and music plus books, audiobooks, and comics; eLearning tools like Brainsfuse for live tutoring and job coaching, and Transparent Online Language, which has resources to learn more than 100 languages, and more. (Tip o’ the hat to to Redditor DryPresentation3763 for pointing this out!)

Facebook Comments