A friend sends you an article, or you read the teaser paragraph in your browser, and you’re interested. So, you click on it—only to discover it’s paywalled. We’ve all been there.
Journalists deserve to get paid for their work, but sometimes you just need access and don’t have the time, energy or money for a subscription. Here are three hot tips to help.
You can read many magazines and newspapers for free through the library.
We have three major resources for magazines online:
- Your favorite e-book and e-audiobook platforms also host many of our online magazine subscriptions.
- For Libby: Log in to the Libby app, and click the magnifying glass icon. Right up at the top of the search page you’ll see an opportunity to filter for magazines.
- For hoopla: Check out this list of titles offered through hoopla's magazine BingePass. With a hoopla BingePass, you get unlimited access for seven days with just one check-out. Log in to hoopla, scroll all the way to the right in formats, select BingePasses, and magazines are right at the top of the options.
- Databases aren't just for research anymore; they can also give you access to current popular titles and recent articles. As a bonus, this method gives you the ability to search across different publications by topic. Both Masterfile Complete and Gale Power Search offer great full-text searchable options for popular titles.
- While these aren't packaged conveniently onto one platform, we do offer standalone access to Consumer Reports, the New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.
- Click here for Consumer Reports. While at the library, no login is required; when you are elsewhere, you'll need to enter your library card number and PIN (your eight-digit birthdate, MMDDYYYY).
- The New York Times and Wall Street Journal make it slightly harder, but you can use your CPL card to activate a free access pass. See this post to learn how.
Although many magazine publishers are stopping or limiting print runs, we do still have physical copies of many popular magazines. Search the catalog for “magazines” to get a complete list, or search for the specific title you’re interested in to see what we have.
You are also welcome to browse our physical magazine collection, which is just past the DVD section, in front of the Secondhand Prose Bookstore. The most recent copy will be library use only, but older copies can be checked out for seven days. For most titles, we keep the last years' worth of copies on hand. You can find them by lifting the metal door behind the most recent copy.
Rather than simply clicking the article link you’ve found or been given, type or copy the title of the article into your browser’s search bar instead. You may also need to type the publication name, if the title is common or you get a lot of other results.
Many browsers and publications work together so that the first article you click into is free. If it’s a publication you visit a lot, you may need to clear the cookies in your browser settings before clicking on the article. Also, consider buying a subscription so that they can keep doing the good work you enjoy!
If neither of those options work for you, try searching the article name or the URL in the Google search bar. Google caches, or saves, most articles so that they load easier. When you find the search result you want, look for the three dots stacked to the right of the title.
Click the three dots, and you will get a pop-up that looks like this.
Click the downward-facing arrow in the circle and see if there is a grey oval that says “cached.” If so, you are in luck! Click that option, and a time and date-stamped version of the article will open.
If edits have been made to the article since Google cached it, those will not appear, but you will have the article as it was published as of the time and date noted at the top of the screen.