How to Make the Library Buy the Books You Don’t Want to Pay For

It’s not a socialist pipe dream

L.A.’s public libraries are full of wonderful secrets. With a library card, you can get free access to museums, a free subscription to the New York Times, free audiobooks, and free movie streaming. And that’s not all. Turns out, you can actually make the library buy any book or movie you think is worthy of their collection. It sounds like a socialist pipe dream, but it’s not—it’s just the library.

Here’s how it works. You go to the suggest a purchase page, fill out the information on the book you’re requesting, and submit it. It’s easy, and you can do the same at the county library here. Library higher-ups will then use their discretion to decide if your request is worthy.

Say you want to read Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor. Well, great news: You now can thanks to a savvy library patron’s use of the request-a-purchase feature.

Requests, if granted, will likely take a couple months to process (libraries are for the patient), and you won’t be notified when the book is acquired. Set a calendar reminder to check back in, and likely as not your book (or audiobook or DVD or music CD, apparently) will be waiting for you.

Thanks, the Library.

RELATED: 100 Things You Can Do for Free in L.A.

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