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April 27, 2018

Free Library of Philadelphia announces free access to New York Times with library card

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04272018_free_library_phila_FCH.jpg Free Library of Philadelphia – Chestnut Hill branch/via YouTube

A Free Library of Philadelphia membership card.

A new perk is on the way for members of the Free Library of Philadelphia — the New York Times, for free.

The library announced Friday that card holders now have free access to, NYT mobile apps and international editions of the newspaper. That covers current and historical editions, Spanish and Chinese language editions and special features.

Access will be available at Free Library of Philadelphia locations and anywhere, with a bit of a trick.

At the library, members can browse the New York Times using the library's Wi-Fi network, but they must create an account at

From home, work, or on the go, members can follow the New York Times Anywhere link on the library's database page to claim a 72-hour pass for New York Times digital access. A login account is required at

At the end of the complimentary 72 hours, members can return to the database page, click the link again and claim an additional pass. There is no weekly or monthly limit to the number of passes you can claim.

You'll probably want to bookmark the library's database page, since you'll be directed to a confirmation page whenever your 72-hour pass expires. 

There are a few excluded or restricted sections. Crossword puzzles and NYTimes Cooking aren't available. Historical archives cover 1981-present and 1851-1922 at all times, but you'll only be able to access articles from 1923-1980 using the 72-hour pass, meaning outside the library. You'll get five of those articles per 72-hour period.

If you're not a member of the Free Library of Philadelphia and you habitually find yourself maxing out at the New York Times, this is an easy way to do yourself two favors for price of none.