By Kevin Kelley
Magazine subscribers holding a Westlake Porter Public Library card can now save some money and possibly eliminate some clutter around the house.
This month, the library began offering free digital subscriptions to 79 popular magazines. Porter contracted with Zinio, a San Francisco-based digital publishing company, to provide the service.
“It works on a variety of devices,” explained Mary Worthington, Porter’s assistant director for public services. Magazines can be downloaded to, and read on, computers, tablets and smartphones. The Zinio app is available for the iPhone and iPad, Android devices, Kindle devices and the Blackberry Playbook.
Worthington said the library selected magazines titles that are already popular among patrons. For example, women’s magazines such as Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Martha Stewart Living, Shape and Woman’s Day, are among the digital magazines now available to patrons.
In addition, specific subject areas were emphasized when Porter selected titles, Worthington said. These areas include travel, computer/technology and entertainment, she said.
Once a reader begins a subscription to a magazine, he or she has permanent access to all the back issues dating to the start of the subscription.
While Porter selected 79 titles, public libraries can offer free subscriptions for up to 400 magazines though Zinio. Worthington said Porter may add titles if the service proves popular.
In addition to servicing libraries, Zinio provides digital magazine subscriptions to the general public for a fee. The company currently offers access to more than 5,000 magaine titles, according to its website.
Porter pays Zinio an annual interface fee of $6,000, plus an additional fee for each magazine title, Worthington said.
Zinio’s digital magazine service is distributed through Recorded Books, which already provides Porter with downloadable books, Worthington said. Other digital magazine vendors Porter considered were out of the library system’s price range, Worthington explained.
Zinio allows multiple library patrons access to the same magazine title, Worthington said. This is in contrast to book publishers, who usually limit access to titles to one library user at a time.
Porter officials are looking at the possibility of offering downloadable movie services to patrons, Worthington told West Life.
“We realize digital is the wave of the future, and we’re always looking for ways to provide services to people 24/7,” she said.
Digital Magazines available to Westlake Porter Public Library patrons:
Canoe & Kayak
Car and Driver
Cloth Paper Scissors
Comics and Gaming Magazine
Digital Photo Pro
ESPN The Magazine
Every Day with Rachael Ray
Food Network Magazine
Ladies Home Journal
Martha Stewart Living
National Geographic Interactive
Natural Home and Garden
O, The Oprah Magazine
Parenting Early Years
Parenting School Years
PC Magazine Digital Edition
Secrets of Getting Organized
Taste of Home