NewsBank: How To Read Your Local Newspaper for Free

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I’m constantly looking for ways to reduce my monthly bills and save money. One item I splurge on is a subscription to my local newspaper. I love to read the newspaper, so I’ve been paying about $300 a year for this subscription.

So I looked around for a way to read the paper for free. My local newspaper offers a digital subscription at a lower cost than home delivery, but it is still a monthly bill.

As part of my research, I contacted my local library. I already use the library to borrow digital content through Hoopla, Kanopy and Libby.

I learned that my library uses a site called NewsBank and that I can log in through the library and read the paper online for free. Great news!

What Is NewsBank and How Can It Save You Money?

As an information provider, NewsBank has been around for 45 years. NewsBank’s website says its information comes from partnerships with “leading news providers.” The service works with libraries to offer free resources to members.

Newsbank provides libraries with archived and current issues of newspapers, journals, magazines, TV show transcripts and more: printed information as well as audio, video and blog content.

You can use the search tool on the site to search for specific information. The tool lets you refine your search and so that you can find the information you are looking for very easily.

Once you locate the information and click a link to read it, you have the option to email, print, download and copy the link to the source you’ve found. There may be other options as well depending on the library you use to access the site. For example, my library allows you to share the content in Google Classroom.

Many schools, colleges and universities use the site for research and learning because of its favorable reputation.

Tip: Get Multiple Library Cards

I found that not only does NewsBank offer my local newspaper but, depending on the library card used when logging in, you can also find a lot of other information.


Each library is different in what content it gets from NewsBank. I have 5-6 library cards from different libraries in my state (and a few other states as well). I logged in with each card and was able to access different information depending on the card I used. Much of it was the same but some libraries offered access to more content than others.

Almost every library has an option to apply for a library card online without the need to visit the branch in person. Some of the cards allow you to borrow only digital content, and some give you full access to the library both digitally and in person.

I listen to a lot of audiobooks and my local library does not always have the audiobook I want to borrow, so having access to several libraries gives me a wider range of books to choose from. If I can’t find the book I want at one library, I can almost always find it at another.

Final Thoughts

Once I found that I could access not only my local newspaper through NewsBank but many others as well, I called and canceled my newspaper subscription. I do some of the reading online, but I still enjoy sitting down and reading printed parts of the paper so I print those pages out. I print in grayscale and print on both sides of the paper to save on ink and paper costs. I am still able to read everything I was before plus more.

The best news: I am saving $300 a year using this free resource.

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