I am an avid reader. I track my books in Goodreads. I always have a to-be-read pile. And I constantly an updating a list of recommended titles in my Notes.
With physical locations closed for libraries and bookstores, added financial stress for many people because of COVID-19, and the number of kids (and some adults) with more time on their hands, I wanted to share some resources for accessing more books without spending a dime.
Full disclosure: I was paid zero dollars by all of the services I'm about to mention.
For those tired of the books you have at home, but also trying to find ways to save, public libraries are still a great option.
Many libraries are offering eCard sign-ups, which gives residents access to e-books, audiobooks and more digital resources.
If you already have a library card for your local library, no need to apply for an eCard. You should already have access to online and digital resources.
For those eager to check out library books digitally, two apps that work well:
Just check the details from your local library as their services may vary somewhat.
These libraries are open to all Texas residents
At least two libraries in the state offer cards to any Texas resident.
Houston Public Library
Any Texas resident can get a HPL card here
Adult cards are permanent with proper ID. In order to check out physical materials, you must pick up a card at a HPL branch, but electronic materials are available immediately.
Children may apply for a temporary card while schools are closed. These temporary eCards will work until at least August 1.
Mesquite Public Library
More about Mesquite library cards
Any Texas resident can apply for an eCard to gain access to Mesquite's online resources. Residents must be 14 years or older. The cards are good for three years and may be renewed online.
You can apply for a library card for physical items in person once libraries reopen.
These libraries give cards to local resident, neighboring jurisdictions
Arlington Public Library
Available to Arlington residents, as well as people from Mansfield, Pantego and Kennedale
Carrollton Public Library
Available to Carrollton residents as well as all Denton County residents
Frisco Public Library
Also open to residents of Allen, McKinney, Plano and The Colony
Others can get a card for $50 per year
Lewisville Public Library
Temporary cards are valid until August 1.
They are available for all Denton County residents ages 13 and older.
McKinney Public Library
Available free of charge for all Collin County residents
eCard will be valid for 1 month pending further COVID-19 assessments
Plano Public Library
Available for residents of Plano, Allen, Frisco, Garland, McKinney, Richardson, The Colony, and Wylie
Available to others for $50 annually
These libraries are open to local residents
Dallas Public Library
One quick email will get you a Dallas Public library card.
This is available for Dallas residents, City of Dallas employees, and anyone who attends or teaches at a public or charter school in the city.
Fort Worth Public Library
Apply for an ecard from the Fort Worth Public Library.
Available to Fort Worth residents and property owners who are 17 years or older.
Garland Public Library
Get a 60-day temporary card with Garland
Expired cards have been renewed through May 9
Irving Public Library
Irving residents can apply for a 90 day temporary card
Grand Prairie Public Library
Grand Prairie residents can sign up to receive a library card by email
Denton Public Library
Any Denton residents, 18 years or older, can get a temporary 60 day eCard
Allen Public Library
Temporary library cards are available for two months.
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- Here are some museum virtual tours you can take while cooped up at home
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- Stuck inside your home? Here are some things to do with your kids besides looking at a screen