Check it out: Free stuff you can get with a Vancouver Public Library membership

Feb 8 2023, 8:35 pm

A Vancouver Public Library membership is entirely free, and aside from access to books and computing facilities, there’s a bunch of cool free stuff you can access.

Vancouver Public Library has been doing a lot to entice members back into its facilities, like the recent move to eliminate late fees.

A thread on Twitter about some of the library’s services pointed out that you can get free access to New York Times content with a membership, but there are way more goodies where that came from.

Free VPL goodies

One convenient aspect of the goodies on offer is that many are digitally available.


A VPL membership gives you access to five Kanopy credits per month. Kanopy includes access to over 20,000 documentaries and classic, independent and international films, which also has access to PBS and selections from the acclaimed Criterion Collection.

Membership also gives you access to the “World Cinema” collection, which includes movies from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and North America.

There’s also an Indigenous film collection focusing on Indigenous voices, culture, history and contemporary perspectives.


While most of us likely have a Spotify or Apple Music subscription, a VPL membership gives you access to the Naxos Music Library, which includes classical, jazz, folk and world music, and the complete records of Naxos, Marco Polo, and Dacapo.

While not technically music, a VPL membership gives you access to many fiction and non-fiction ebooks and audiobooks for all ages.

Arts and Crafts

VPL members get free access to Creativebug.

Creativebug offers free online classes for all sorts of arts and crafts like jewellery making, knitting, crocheting, sewing, painting and more. There’s also a mobile app.


If you’re in college, it shouldn’t need to be said that the VPL has excellent resources to assist your post-secondary education.

A VPL membership also gives you access to ProQuest Central, which is how you can get access to publications like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and a complete database covering arts & humanities, business, education, general science, health & medical, technology, and more.

You can also get access to historical local newspapers and digital magazines.

If you’re interested in learning a new language, Mango Languages has over 70 self-paced courses delivered by native speakers.

Vancouver History

One of the coolest things offered is This Vancouver, access to historical images, audio clips and videos.

This scrapes the surface of cool stuff you can experience for free at your chosen Vancouver Public Library location.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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