Chicago Public Library Offers Free Magazines, Streaming Movies

New services come on the heels of the library's upgraded website and features

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Zinio
    The Chicago Public Library is now offering free access to magazines through the service Zinio.

    The Chicago Public Library is proving that libraries are not limited to dusty books on dusty shelves anymore.

    Chicago residents with library cards now have unlimited access to more than 150 magazines that they can download digitally. They can also download up to four streaming movies per month.

    Using the service Zinio for the magazine downloads, the library is offering patrons free digital access to magazines that they won't have to return. For the movie downloads, the library is using the site Hoopla, which also offers music, TV show and audiobook downloads.

    Both Zinio and Hoopla work on smartphones and tablets in addition to regular computers and laptops.

    The new services are part of the library's upgrade, which included a remake of the website and a host of new online services unveiled on Thursday. Library card holders can now track their place in line for holds requests, write reviews of books and make lists of books they've read and others they want to check out in the future.

    "Twenty-first century libraries are not the same brick and mortar institutions they once were, and the Chicago Public Library has been at the forefront of successfully leveraging digital tools to enrich library services for our residents," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a press statement.

    The Chicago Public Library has partnered with the software company BiblioCommons for the website redesign.

    The funding for the redesign came from a $1 million grant from the Chicago Public Library Foundation.