Library Hacks

Have you ever had one of those moments where you say, “I didn’t know the library offered that.”

Well, get ready to have those moments a lot more.

Library Hacks offer the library’s best-kept (but most useful) secrets.

We’ll release new hacks every month designed to simplify your life, save you money, and help you get more out of WCLS. So, stay tuned for more hacks!

Psst . . . you’ll need your WCLS card to access all of these awesome hacks, so if you don’t already have one, sign up for a library card today (it only takes two minutes!).

Download 25,000+ eBooks

With your handy WCLS card, you can download 25,000+ eBooks from anywhere!

Choose from new bestsellers, classic romances, thrilling fantasies, and more—all from the comfort of your couch, office, or gym.

To get started, go to the Washington Anytime Library website, login with your library card number and PIN, and start reserving materials today!

Learn 70+ languages for free

With your WCLS card, you get a Mango Languages account for free. Mango Languages offers comprehensive, yet straightforward online tutorials that teach you to speak more than 70 languages, including English, Spanish, French, Japanese, and more. This program breaks down each language into small, easily-digestible steps, and offers real-world examples that equip you for everyday conversations.

While other programs, like Rosetta Stone, cost nearly $200 per language—you can learn more than 70 languages for free with your library card. Login with your card to get started!

New Grab-and-Go Location: Northwest Drive Express

Calling all Laurel residents, soccer players, and Northwest Drive commuters: WCLS has just opened a new location right across the street from Northwest Soccer Park!

Northwest Drive Express offers an easy way to pick up library materials: just scan your WCLS card for entry and your holds will be waiting for you! Northwest Drive Express is open Monday-Thursday from 10am-9pm, Friday from 10am-6pm, Saturday from 10am-5pm, and Sunday from 1pm-5pm.

Enable single-click holds and automatic downloads

Make it even easier to place holds and download content by updating your library preferences.

When you enable automatic downloads, your eBook and eAudiobook holds will automatically download to your eReader as soon as they’re ready. See the 3-step instructions here.

You can also save yourself a step by choosing your default library pick-up location; all holds will automatically be delivered to your library of choice. See how to do this here.

Check out 25,000+ DVDs

Access more than 25,000 movies and TV shows for free with your WCLS card! Save money and entertain the whole family with top titles, like Finding Dory, Rogue One, The Big Bang Theory, and more.

If you miss the good ol’ days when you could browse through video stores, then come to the library! We have plenty of titles for you to peruse and check out.


Track your checkout history

See everything you’ve read and checked out in one place by turning on your borrowing history.

To respect your privacy, WCLS doesn’t automatically keep a record of your checkouts unless you give them permission to do so. But, if you’d like to keep a record of your checkouts, you can turn your borrowing history on in four easy steps. Go here to see the instructions. 

Explore 150 digital magazines for free

Digital magazines are the perfect choice for a vacation, gym read, or bus ride. And with your WCLS card, you get subscriptions to 150 digital magazines for free! Choose from some of today’s most popular magazines, like The EconomistUs WeeklyThe New YorkerNational GeographicCosmopolitanCook’s Illustrated, and much more.

Plus, there are no holds or wait lists—you can access your favorite magazines anytime and anywhere.

Add to your phone’s homescreen

Quickly access wherever you go by adding our website to your mobile device’s homescreen. Add WCLS in just three easy steps: see the instructions here.

Access Consumer Reports for free

Want to make smarter shopping choices? Use Consumer Reports! Consumer Reports offers thousands of objective reviews and comparisons on everything from cars to baby products to insurance and beyond. And with your WCLS card, you can access Consumer Reports online for free! Just login with your library card number to get started.  (Or reserve print copies from the library.)

Download 9,000+ eAudiobooks for free!

eAudiobooks have been growing and growing (and growing) in popularity over the last few years. And it makes sense—they’re perfect for road trips, long commutes, your morning workout, or for just giving your eyes a break and listening to your favorite stories.

Download eAudiobooks straight to your cell phone, tablet, or laptop and take them anywhere! If you really need something right now, you can sort eAudiobooks by what’s available now for download.

Get Chilton’s Manuals for free

The Chilton Library is one of the most (if not the most) trusted vehicle maintenance resource in the industry. With your WCLS card, you can access hundreds of detailed directions, diagrams, and tools to fix your car with Chilton’s online library and print manuals. Get step-by-step directions for repairs, troubleshooting illustrations, close-up photos, and more.

Check out a print copy or login to their digital library.

Access 15 million+ verified business contacts with ReferenceUSA

If you’re a business professional, you know how hard it can be to track down contact information. Particularly, for potential customers. Plus, purchasing contact lists can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. ReferenceUSA offers up-to-date contact information for more than 15 million U.S. companies and 1.9 million Canadian companies, along with data on industry trends and market research. Search by industry, company name, location, financial standing, and more.

Whether you’re a student conducting research, someone looking for a new job, or a business professional wanting to track down new contacts, ReferenceUSA is a priceless resource.

Explore your family history with Ancestry Library Edition

With Ancestry Library Edition, you can trace your family’s history, map your family tree, and explore your origins from across the globe. You’ll find reams of data on people from North America, the U.K., Europe, Australia, and more. Ancestry’s multimedia collections also include millions of files, like family and gravestone photos, postcards, newsreels, and more.

You can only access Ancestry from the library, so find your nearest library location and come in today!

Check out hundreds of video games

WCLS offers nearly 200 of the latest video games for Xbox one, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, and more. Using the library’s video games can save you a considerable amount of money. The average video game costs $60 and renting them also costs about $14 a week.

Entertain the kids or grandkids (or yourself!) without breaking the bank: check out the latest video games from WCLS!

Get automated reminders with Library Elf

Wouldn’t it be great if you got a simple text message or email reminding you when your library materials are due? Or, if there was a central location where you could track your entire family’s checkouts and holds? With your free Library Elf subscription, you can.

The Library Elf app sends you friendly text or email reminders when items are due, when they’re overdue, and if you have a hold ready for pick-up. If you have multiple people in your home, this is the easiest way to track everyone’s checkouts, holds, and due dates from one central location.

Use Library Elf to avoid late fees and keep better track of your family’s checkouts!