Everyone should have access to information and it should be made as easily accessible as possible.
To help achieve that goal, the Parkland Regional Library recently Launched Zinio, the world largest electronic newsstand, free for all cardholders in the Regional Library System.
Meredith Bratland, communications coordinator for Parkland Regional Library, said that making these resources available online in this format increases the availability of those resources and thereby increases the usage of them.
“That’s what the library is based off of, that everybody should have access to discover and learn and create,” said Bratland.
She added that this new service is in line with a growing trend of libraries to go digital.
“The library is moving digital all the time,” said Bratland. “Computers and technology are a big part of our service.”
Bratland said that there are a number of library patrons who want access to periodicals but don’t want to come to the library to get them. She added that not everyone can afford a subscription to each of the magazines they might like to read.
In the past, the Parkland Regional Library could provide magazines to patrons through other patrons donating old magazines or new magazine subscriptions, said Bratland.
With the Zinio online service, patrons will eventually be able to do this digitally by buying subscriptions to add to the catalogue of free magazines available to library patrons, Bratland added.
Through Zinio, library members will have access to over 100 ezines, magazines accessible through computer, smartphone, tablet, or other such electronic device.
These ezines are like enhanced PDF versions of the hard copy magazines, said Bratland.
Users can flip through the magazine on their device and in some cases there are even additional interactive features that come with the digital version.
Having a digital version of the magazine on an electronic device also allows users to change font size, zoom into photos and where available even listen to audio recordings of the magazine being read.
Some of the titles available through Zinio include National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Canadian Living, Car & Driver and Outdoor Canada.
Users also have the option of subscribing to the magazine digitally or simply downloading a single issue.
If desired, patrons can even use some of their own pocket money to purchase a title that is not freely available through the library’s Zinio service. Unlike ebooks, magazines downloaded to an electronic device will remain on that device until they are removed by the user.
They will not become corrupt and unreadable after a loan period like ebook loans can.
In order to download ezines through Zinio, library system cardholders need to have a Zinio account. This account is free through Parkland Regional Library but users will still need to set up their own the first time they go to download a title. For more information on setting up a Parkland Library Zinio account, visit www.prl.ab.ca/zinio.