7 Free Things You Can Get with a CHPL Library Card

Written by Joe Armstrong, Content Specialist, Downtown Main Library

If you haven't gotten your Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library card, you're missing out on big benefits - and savings!

A CHPL library card not only lets you borrow from one of the largest collections of books, audiobooks, movies, and music, but gets you free access to local cultural attractions, telescopes, databases, digital resources, and so much more.

A library card is free if you're a resident of the State of Ohio, a property owner in Hamilton County, a temporary/transitional resident of Hamilton County, or a resident of Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties in Kentucky Sign up for your free Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library card online or by visiting any library location.

Check out seven of our favorite things you can get with a CHPL library card:

1. Discovery Passes 

Cincinnati is home to many renowned cultural and recreational institutions. CHPL's Discovery Pass provides Library cardholders with free passes to arts, cultural, and recreational attractions throughout Hamilton County. Library cardholders may check out passes to:

Checking out a pass is easy! All you need is a Library card in good standing. Use the online reservation system to view which passes are available and to reserve a pass. Please note passes are available once every 30 days per customer.

Reserve a Discovery Pass

2. eBooks, Audiobooks, and Digital Magazines 

Whether you're on a computer, mobile device, or even a TV, a CHPL library card lets you enjoy eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more. Here are just some of the resources available for free with your library card - check them all out on our Stream and Download webpage:

  • Libby: Our most popular app! Check out thousands of eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and read-along books.
  • Kanopy: Stream more than 3,000 free movies, classics, documentaries, and educational videos.
  • Freegal: Stream or download more than 18 million songs. Download unlimited songs or albums to your device to keep!
  • Hoopla: Films, TV shows, books, comics, and music are available to stream online or download to the app, with no waiting lists.

Stream and Download

3. MakerSpace 

Gather, invent, and learn at our MakerSpaces. Our free 3D printers, software, laser cutters, and other tools will help you create pretty much anything you can imagine.

4. Digital Newspapers 


Your library card provides digital access to numerous current-issue newspapers for free, including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati Business Courier, the New York Times, and more.

Researching older news? View older editions and historic newspapers.

5. Telescopes 

To expand access to STEM-related learning tools and materials, the Library has partnered with Dean Regas and the Cincinnati Observatory to circulate 10 Orion StarBlast 4.5-inch astronomical telescopes for use by library cardholders.

Borrow a Telescope

6. Laptops and Computers

Computers are available to reserve across CHPL's 41 neighborhood branches. To reserve a computer, simply ask any Library staff!

Select library branches provide freestanding laptop-dispensing kiosks. Library cardholders may borrow one laptop at a time for two hours of use in the Library building.

7. Databases and Online Resources

Access hundreds of powerful databases and online resources using a CHPL library card.

Whether you're looking for homework help, financial resources, historical databases, or even learning a new language, there are databases available for anything you're researching.

Browse All Databases

Sign up for your free Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library card online.