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May 1, 2013

Library adds new digital magazine service

By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

ROCHESTER — Rochester Hills Public Library patrons can now gain access to more than 200 digital magazines on their computers and mobile devices, thanks to the library’s new Zinio digital magazine service, which was added a few weeks ago.

After e-books, downloadable magazines are the second most requested digital service from Rochester Hills Public Library patrons, according to Rebekah Craft, the library’s manager of adult services.

“When we’re walking people through the e-book process, they’ll ask us if we have magazines available, so we knew that a lot of people wanted this. When this service became available to libraries, we jumped on it. We’re excited to offer it. The response has been great so far,” she said.

The new service allows library users to check out an unlimited number of magazines and keep them as long as needed, without any overdue fines, according to Craft.

“Reading magazines online is a great way to save paper and reduce clutter around your home,” she said. “There are 200 magazines available, and they can be viewed on any Internet device. There are also apps that are available for iPhone, Android and Kindle fire, and Windows 8 devices, so they can be read anywhere. The issues never expire.”

Library Director Christine Hage said that more than 200 popular titles are available on Zinio in pretty much every subject.

“There’s 4Wheel and Off-Road magazines, travel magazines like Alaska, Snowmobiler, craft magazines, knitting magazines, Hollywood gossip magazines like Us Weekly, Ultimate Aircraft, MacWorld, Marie Claire, Martha Steward Living, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Billboard, Beer Connoisseur. … Lots of different kinds of magazines,” she said.

Other popular titles available include Consumer Reports; Good Housekeeping; National Geographic; O, The Oprah Magazine; Food Network Magazine; and Reader’s Digest.

To use Zinio digital magazines, patrons visit ebranch.rhpl.org and click on the “Magazines” tab. Instructions for using Zinio, a how-to video, a downloadable help sheet, answers to frequently asked questions and a complete list of the magazines are available.

Zinio requires the setup of two accounts, a Rochester Hills Public Library account and a Zinio Reader account, Craft said.

“Anyone that has a library card here can go to the site, and on that site, there is a button to register and create an account. The person will enter their library card number and then create a username and password. Then they log in to our Zinio site so they can look at the magazines that are available. Once they find a magazine that they want to read online, they create a Zinio account. I recommend using the same username and password for that, so there are two accounts that they have to make. Once they make those, they can just enter the same password every time they use the service,” Craft said.

Once logged in to Zinio, all magazines that appear can be read immediately in a Web browser or in a PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 or Blackberry Playbook app. Zinio’s technology digitally re-creates a magazine page for page, including full color pictures, easy navigation and interactive elements, such as audio and video.

“People will be able to go online — they have to register first with their library card — and then they pick the magazine that they want and they’ll get that issue delivered to their device: it can be their computer, their smartphone or their tablet. The way the magazine appears on your device, it will show photographs of the magazine, and you can easily read it and turn the pages. It’s just like an e-book,” Hage said.

The library will host informational classes about Zinio magazines in the multipurpose room at 7 p.m. May 8, June 3 and July 8.

Those interested in attending are asked to register at www.rhpl.org/events or by calling (248) 650-7130.

The Rochester Hills Public Library is located in downtown Rochester off University Drive, three blocks east of Main Street. The library is open 9 a.m-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at malmond@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1060.