Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pass the Magazines!

In a low-tech moment:
dolphins spotted during a trip to the beach!
I spent several days in California with my family last week, celebrating my grandmother’s ninetieth birthday. (Happy birthday, Grandma!)

While we were there, my dad and I, in our role as family tech support, were asked to help out with a few technology-based tasks, such as fixing my grandmother’s computer and replacing her television. Since I work at a library, my uncle also asked me to help set up library apps on his new iPad, which I was happy to do.

The process got me thinking. When people who aren’t heavy users of library electronic resources talk to me about this topic, they usually focus on e-books and audiobooks. At MCPL, our customers downloaded 379,370 e-books and audiobooks in 2013, and this continues to be a popular service, with multiple e-book and audiobook services available for our customers.

Often lost in this discussion, however, is the expanded offerings of downloadable e-magazines offered by many libraries. In fact, e-magazine services from MCPL meant that I did not have to take the paper copy of Bloomberg Buisnessweek’s coding issue (June 15, 2015), which my dad had brought for me, nor did I have to try to cram in a large number of dense articles while I was trying to visit with my family. I just went online and checked out the issue from Zinio at MCPL, downloaded it to my tablet, and I can now read it at my convenience.

flipster screenshot
People en español in the
Flipster app for Android
MCPL currently offers two e-magazine services: Zinio, which we have had for a while, and Flipster, which just debuted recently. Both services allow customers to check out digital versions of the print magazines, complete with color photos, which they can read in their browser or download to an app for offline reading.

The services offer complementary titles that cover a wide range of interest areas, with everything from Cooking Light to Ebony to Popular Science to Newsweek. Flipster also has a large selection of kids magazines, including Zoobooks and Babybug. Both services offer current issues and a selection of back issues (the number of back issues available varies by title). They also have digital navigation options, although these differ some from title to title.

There are some important differences between the services that customers should be aware of. Titles borrowed from Zinio do not expire. There is also no limited on the number of titles you can check out at once, although the Zinio for Libraries app will only display a limited number of issues. Downloaded issues can also take up a lot of space on your device, so you may prefer to delete them from your app when you have finished reading them.

To read Flipster titles in the offline app, you need to sign into Flipster on the browser of your mobile device and then select “Open in App.” Downloaded issues will be available to read for one week. Flipster does allow printing magazine pages and sections from the browser, within limits that vary by title. (Zinio titles can only be printed using screenshots.)

Both services offer a lot of great options, and great titles, for your magazine reading pleasure. Happy reading!

Lennea and her grandmother

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