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We have a new service at our library, and from what I understand it is available in many public libraries across the nation, so I wanted to make you aware of it. Zinio is a distribution service for digital magazines. It is possible through this service for individuals to purchase a subscription, or specific magazines, and read them on phones, tablets, computers, and other digital devices. Before you go shelling out money for magazines online, check in with your public library. Many libraries now offer Zinio access with your library card.

Screen shot 2014-03-04 at 8.50.30 AMJust recently I signed up and started using this service. I am primarily a book reader, but there are certain times when I prefer magazines. One of my favorites is The Smithsonian. To sign up I contacted my librarian to get my membership number and a little prefix I had to attach to it. I clicked on the Zinio link and set up a free account and selected a couple of magazines to check out. Then I downloaded the Zinio app on my iPad and set up an account through there. The magazines I had selected were in the My Library section and all I had to do was select them to start reading.

Now, this wasn’t exactly an easy process, even though I made it sound like it, and I had a few things trip me up. However, I did this on my own because I was working on it during hours when my library was closed. An easier way to get started would be to grab your phone or tablet, go to the library, and tell the librarian you would like to get set up with Zinio. They can help you with it and you can walk out in 10 minutes ready to go. Our librarians have been doing this a lot lately and they are happy to help.

Zinio provides access to more than 5,500 magazines. They have magazines from Cosmopolitan to Rolling Stone and from Cigar Aficionado to Wired.

Another bonus of using this service through your library is that they can track the circulation numbers. This means that your public library gets a boost every time you check a magazine out using your library card. Libraries are important institutions in most communities providing free services, education, and assistance to their patrons. However, support has been falling precipitously for the public library system. Many think, fallaciously, that since books are giving way to eBooks and digital readers libraries are becoming obsolete. This is not true. It is true that they are having to change some of their services to fit modern patrons, but they are still relevant. It is important to realize that the people who use them most, have the least say in whether the libraries get monies and funding.

As I have said before, and will say again, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY! Give Zinio a try.