Your L.A. Public Library Card comes with free New York Times access and other extras

Woman looking for a book in the library
Senior Librarian Ana Campos looks for a book at the Central Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Your library card is even more powerful than you realized.

If you have an L.A. Public Library card in good standing, you can access the New York Times — including content from Games, Cooking, and Wirecutter — online for free.

For the record:

4:12 p.m. Nov. 1, 2021A previous version of this post incorrectly described L.A. Public Library e-card eligibility. The e-card is available to residents of the city of Los Angeles, not of the entire county.

Specifically, your card grants you access to 24-hour unlimited digital passes. You’ll need to create a (free) New York Times account to log in. Once that’s set up, here’s what you do:

  1. Go to this specific link and enter your LAPL card number and PIN number. (Pro tip: Bookmark the link so you can quickly get back to it.)
  2. Once logged in to the LAPL, you’ll be taken to a page where you can log in to your New York Times account. This page will prompt you to create an account if you don’t have one already.
  3. Click “get started.” If you’re already logged into your New York Times account through your browser, you may be skipped directly to this page.

You can access the New York Times website for 24 hours now without hitting the paywall. Once the 24 hours have elapsed, you’ll have to log on and redeem another digital pass.


One caveat: There are a limited number of digital passes per day, so if it’s a big breaking news day, grab your pass early or you might have to wait a day to catch up. Also, if you like to read stories you clicked on from Twitter, Facebook or Reddit from your phone, it might open the story in a browser you’re not logged in on, and you’ll have to log in again. (This could be why you keep hitting the paywall on news sites you’re subscribed to. Frustrating, we know.)

Don’t have a library card? Not a problem. The L.A. Public Library lets you apply for an e-card online. They are available to all city of L.A. residents, regardless of citizenship status.

Your library card also comes with access to ebooks and audiobooks through Libby (delivered directly to the device or app of your choice), movies and TV through Kanopy (which can be accessed via apps on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast), and other services and apps that offer free music, podcasts, online learning, and more.

Aren’t libraries magical? Check it all out here.