Chicago Public Library
chipublib.org or 312-747-4300
You can get more with your Chicago Public Library card than just the latest Stephen King. For example, each branch library offers a limited number of Great Kids Museum Passports--passes good for general admission to ten local museums, including the heavy hitters on the lake. Despite the name, only adults can check out the passes (one per person), and they can be used by both adults and children. They must be returned to the branch they came from within a week. Note: they go fast on weekends. The library's also started offering free downloadable audiobooks. All you need is a valid library card and Internet access to obtain and activate the free software available on the CPL Web site. You can borrow up to six titles (from a list of about 1,300) at a time, burn most of them to CD, and there's never a late fee--the license on each title simply expires when the book is "due." The library plans to make portable MP3 players available for 21-day checkout in the next few weeks.