Free app can be downloaded to any electronic device with internet access

Magazines to go

Camas Public Library cardholders now have access to 58 magazines that they can read anytime, anyplace and keep as long as they like.

The cost? Free.

That’s because the library is now subscribing to the online service Zinio, described as the “world’s largest newsstand.”

All cardholders in good standing need is a device with internet access, whether it’s a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Magazine options include Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Consumer Reports, Bicycling, ESPN, Martha Stewart Living and other popular periodicals.

Once someone has signed up for a Zinio account and downloaded the application, magazines they’ve subscribed to are automatically updated when new issues are released.

“I think the library, with digital subscriptions, has a way of making periodical literature available to more people in a timely manner,” said David Zavortink, library director. “And readers can take those magazines anywhere they go with their mobile device. An entire coffee table full of magazines is in your tablet device.”

Those without internet access at home or a mobile device may access Zinio on the library’s computers as well.

The library is one of only 16 statewide to offer Zinio. Initial costs were $1,600, with a per magazine subscription fee added on. Zavortink said that Camas decided to provide the service because it provides convenience to patrons, offers the ability to still read Newsweek (which is digital only), and creates cost savings to the library.

“For some journals and magazines, the cost is less than the print version,” he said. “One journal, Nature, is several hundred dollars cheaper in digital form. We’ll be swapping (it) soon.”

Zinio also eliminates the need for shelving, mending, checking out, filing and other employee work associated with print versions.

“Lots of overhead is done away with,” Zavortink said.

Convenience to patrons includes being able to access all of the library’s magazines at any time.

“There were some magazines that were just always checked out,” he said. “You wouldn’t be able to borrow the January issue until March. This allows everyone to have access at the same time.”

Zinio went live a few weeks ago, so there are not many subscribers yet, though Zavortink expects that to change soon.

“We have 12,000 library cardholders and we are giving each one of them a free subscription,” he said.

Don Chaney, a Camas City Councilman, subscribes to the service.

“There are a significant number of magazines you can download and have free subscriptions to, and they are very useful,” he said at a March 4 council workshop. “It works very nicely. It’s just an example of the energy that our staff uses to do good things for the community. Here, it is exemplified in this application.”

To learn more about Zinio or subscribe to the service, visit the library website at www.ci.camas.wa/index.php/camaspubliclibrary.