What Your LA Library Card Gets You (Besides Books): VR, Laser Cutters, 26K Films, WaPo Online, Free Museums, So Much More
It's cool enough that Los Angeles Public Library cards recently got a limited edition design by local artist Gajin Fujita. But once you get that arty little card in your sweaty little palm - or any LAPL card, for that matter - it opens up access to a whole host of art, activities, technology and more, in addition to all the glorious books.
A robust list of the card's perks, from newspaper subscriptions to recording labs to cultural institutions (there's a reason it's called the #BestCardInLA - even Keanu has one, bro), lives on the library's website.
Here are a few extra-awesome highlights:
Free or discounted admission to L.A. cultural institutions like The Broad, the Autry Museum of the American West, Kidspace Children's Museum and more. Most put a limit on how many free passes you can get per month or per year. In most cases, you must make a reservation and print out a pass to show when you arrive. Find a full list of participating places at the library's Discover & Go site.
The New York Times and The Washington Post: Free access to both newspapers' digital sites. The access only lasts 24 hours, but you can log back on immediately. If the logging in and out doesn't bother you, this is a serious money-saver.
Octavia Lab, a new space at the Central Library in DTLA that is full of all kinds of technology and gadgets to help users create. The lab is 3,000 square feet, and includes a 3D printing machine, virtual reality gear, a laser cutter, Final Cut Pro, Logic and much more.
Language learning apps, including the popular Mango. By entering your library card number and PIN, you can log in and start learning at no charge.
DIY digitation for your old photos, videos, recordings and more. Part of the Octavia Lab, The Memory Lab lets you digitize all the pics of your parents in the old days, yourself in the old days, the videos your great-uncle took on his VHS and more. You'll need to attend an hour-and-a-half orientation before you can reserve a spot in the lab.
Independent, documentary, classic and international films streamed free through Kanopy. The library offers access to 26,000 such movies, including titles like Lady Bird, Eighth Grade, Moonlight, The Florida Project and 25,996 more.
So, if you don't already have a library card, we've just given you six - or, tens of thousands - reasons to get one. What are you waiting for?
Correction: A previous version of this story erroneously stated that the Octavia Lab offered Pro Tools. It offers Logic. LAist regrets the error.