10 Free Services with the Smartest Card in Your Wallet

What’s the smartest card in your wallet? Your library card, of course! All the cool kids know this. We may be biased, but if you don’t have a card, apply for one today.  Know someone who doesn't have a card?  Let them know a library card gives you access to more than just the checkout line.  It's also your ticket to all these fantastic free services.

Download an eBook. Then read it from your Kindle, your iPad or tablet, or your desktop. Find thousands of titles here and instructions here. Stumped? Read our post about eBooks here. Or call your local branch or come in for help. Bring your device! 

Read magazines online from home with Zinio. It's got the latest editions of publications from The Economist to U.S. Weekly. Click here and then scroll down to the bottom of the page for instructions and the login screen.

Suggest a title we should order. Can’t find a book you are looking for and think we should order it? We welcome your suggestions.

Can’t find what you are looking for? You may be able to borrow the item free of charge from another library system through our interlibrary loan service.

Make your commute more enjoyable. The library owns thousands of books on CD. Search for your favorite title and select the audiobook version or browse the shelves at your nearest branch. Being stuck in traffic never sounded so good! You can also download  eAudiobooks from home without even heading into a library branch. Transfer an eAudiobook to your smartphone and listen as you drive. Browse eAudiobook titles in our Overdrive catalog.

Place a book on hold. Ever make it to the library and forget the titles of all the books on your to-read list? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Next time, place a book on hold so you’ll never be without a read. If your home branch doesn’t have a copy of what you are looking for, we will transfer the item to your branch free of charge. Sign up for the Wowbrary newsletter, so you can receive free alerts about the library's newest additions.  It's a great way to put your name on the waiting list for the hottest best seller.

Help your child get ready to read. Our storytime programs help put your child on the path to a lifelong love of reading. Grow successful readers by logging on to our event calendar and select Event Type: Storytime to register your child in a program. Our Early Literacy Outreach page has tips  and great books lists to help you foster  your budding reader. Sign up for the Early Literacy Newsletter to get monthly updates on what’s new in picture books.

Study for a test. Our branches own multiple copies of study guides for college prep tests or AP exams. You can also access practice SAT, ACT and GRE tests online through Learning Express Library. Log on with your library card. Planning a career move? The database also contains occupational exam study guides as well, from Dental Assistant exams to Real Estate Broker exams.

Computer or printer problems at home? Use your library card to access one of the more than 400 internet stations available in Fairfax County Public Library branches.

Research your ancestors. The Virginia Room at the City of Fairfax Regional Library houses thousands of resources for your genealogical research needs. Many are available online, including Heritage Quest. And inside library branches you can get free access to Ancestry.com.

How do you use your library card? Let us know!

--Ginger Hawkins, Patrick Henry Library

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