Did you know? As a NSW resident, you're entitled to join not only your local library but also the City of Sydney Library, which has nine branches and as an Australian resident, you can join the National Library of Australia, in Canberra.
Join the City of Sydney Library here. (Make sure you note down your card number).
The National Library of Australia will post your card to you, whilst the City of Sydney Library will provide your card number online, but you have to collect your card from a branch.
Having additional libraries to visit, gives more entertainment options to choose from, and a bigger choice of locations to return books to, but they're still not open 24 hours a day.
However the City of Sydney Library offers a huge online database of music, movies, magazines, comics, and e-books to download for free. There's even an app so you can download the latest magazines, to read offline.
You can find some excellent indie flicks at your local library, you may not encounter otherwise.
Magazines are free to download with your Sydney City library card. Image courtesy of RBDigital.com
Magazines The first time you 'borrow' a magazine you'll be asked to create an account and prompted to download the app which allows you to read magazines offline.
There are magazines covering all interests including the latest gossip magazines Hello!NW Magazine, OK, Woman's Day and Australian Women's Weekly.
There's foodie magazines Super Food Ideas, Good Food and Women's Weekly Food.
There's also Astronomy, GQ Australia, Men's Health, Men's Style, Esquire and favourites National Geographic, Better Homes and Gardens and Reader's Digest to name just a few. There is also selected titles in Chinese.
Using the Press Reader app you can access newspapers from around Australia including the inner west courier, the Canterbury-Bankstown Express and also a huge range of international newspapers including The Guardian, The New York Times and the Irish Times. Downloading the magazines and newspapers gives you full access to the entire publication, as opposed to selected stories online.
Movies can be streamed for free via Beamafilms. This gives you access to over three hundred quality movies and documentaries, including many Australian classics only found through Beamafilms.
Movies available to download free using your library card. Image courtesy of www.beamafilm.com
Watch movies like indie hit Short Term 12, acclaimed documentary Blackfish and AFI award winning Two Hands starring Heath Ledger.
New titles are added regularly with a focus on Australian content and stories.
Through the library network there are thousands of eBooks you can download to read including biographies, cookbooks, kids books and the latest fiction.
eBooks can be read on a variety of devices like tablets, phones and computers. You don't need to have a dedicated e-reader to enjoy an eBook.
There is over 11 million songs from 28,000 music labels, free to download. There is a limit on how much you can stream or download per day but with some of the latest albums available including Harry Styles along with audiobooks, there's no shortage of entertainment. You'll need to collect your physical library card from a branch (and show I.D) before you can download any music.
Music you can download using your library card. Image courtesy of Sydneycity.freegalmusic.com
There are thousands of e-comics you can download including superheroes, heroines and lots of comics for kids.
Check out Vampirilla, Charmed (from the tv series), Angry Birds, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Lola XOXO.
There's also popular titles like Regular Show, Adventure Time and Lego Ninjago - there's no shortage of comics to read.
It's nice to browse the eclectic range of DVD's available at your library.
The City of Sydney library network also runs workshops and talks for members ranging from computer coding, to virtual reality filmmaking to lectures from acclaimed locals like music photographer Tony Mott.
National Library of Australia
Your membership card from the National Library of Australia gives you access to research facilities next time you visit Canberra and also online records such as a bibliography of British & Irish History, Australia/New Zealand reference centre, Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Sydney Morning Herald archives and the United Nations iLibrary.
There is a trove of information for anyone looking to research their family history such as convict shipping lists and cemetery records.
With a City of Sydney library, and a National Library of Australia membership, you'll never be bored again.