1. Movies and books
Our libraries are becoming increasingly digital, and a library card gives access to a range of fantastic free services.
As the libraries themselves choose what to offer their customers, the range varies, but there are a number of services that we find in many libraries, for example films, music, newspapers and audio books. Here are the services you may be able to find at your library.
Find libraries and e-books
An alternative to borrowing paper books from the library is of course choosing an e-book. These are completely normal books that you read on the screen instead of on paper. You can borrow e-books from many libraries, and you do this directly from the respective library’s website. Here are also instructions on how to do it.
If you don’t have a library card, you can of course get it through your library. You can find it via the Royal Library’s database.
App for free e-book
An alternative to borrowing books via the libraries’ websites is to use the app Libby by Overdrive. It is so far available in a few libraries, but since the company surprisingly won the municipalities’ joint procurement of e-books, expect to see more of it.
Audiobook on mobile
There are not only traditional paper books in the library. Biblio is, for example, an app where you can borrow audiobooks on your mobile, much like Storytel. The difference is that you can only listen to the audiobook for a limited time, just like a regular library book.
Children’s books free of charge
Bibblix is an app that wants to entice children to read more. The setup is simple. Enter the child’s age and choose a category such as fantasy or mysteries. You now get a list of book tips, and by clicking on a book, a short presentation appears. You can then read it directly in the app as an e-book. Everyone gets to read three books for free – then a library card at a connected library is required. At the time of writing, it is only Stockholm, Malmö and Katrineholm.
Quality film at Viddla…
At around 40 libraries, you can borrow films via the Viddla service. You can’t watch the latest Hollywood films, but the focus is on classic quality films such as Amelie from Montmartre, El Postino and Patrik 1.5.
Viddla can be viewed via computer or iPhone/Ipad app, however there is no Android app yet.
… and the Cinemasters
Is your library not connected to Viddla – or can’t you find the movie you want to see? In that case, you can try Cineasterna, which is another movie service with roughly the same structure and range.
Cineasterna is not available as an app, but you only watch via the browser.
2. Music, magazines and more
Newspapers from around the world
Do you want to read the Washington Post, The Guardian, T3 or Svenska Dagbladet? Via Pressplay you get free access to over 7,000 newspapers and magazines from all over the world.
So you can read the full paper version of the magazine – not just the material that is freely available on their sites.
Incidentally, Pressreader is not only available in libraries. Hotel chains such as Scandic offer the service to their visitors.
Find Free Scholarships
Do you want to go abroad and study or are you in a financial situation where the money is not even enough for the most basic things? Regardless, it is possible to apply for money from various scholarships and funds. Global Grant is a large database where you can enter who you are and what you want to do – and based on that find out which funds you can apply for. Normally it costs money to search here, but many libraries offer this service free of charge.
Listen to music
Naxos is one of the giants when it comes to classical music, and they offer libraries a digital service called Naxos Music Library. In other words, if your library is connected here, you have an opportunity to listen to music for free.
Knowledge before the trip
Regardless of whether you are interested in the world around you or if you just want to know more about the country where you are going on holiday, the Country Guide from the Foreign Policy Institute is a goldmine.
Just search for the country you are interested in and you will find a small mini-book that describes this country from different aspects.
For private individuals, the service costs SEK 59 a week to use (or SEK 990 a year), but many libraries give you access to it free of charge.