People love magazines, and we here at the library love getting people the things they want to read. However, finding a good digital magazine service has been harder than folks might think. There was Zinio and then the Ohio Digital Library partnered with Barnes and Noble to offer magazines, but those services didn’t work as well as one could wish, and the other options weren’t all that great, either. But the State Library of Ohio working with the Ohio Digital Library is trying digital magazines again, and I’ve got to say, so far, so good.
There are two ways to read magazines from the Ohio Digital Library—in the web browser of your computer or tablet, or using the Libby app. (The Libby app is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, but not the Amazon App Store. If you’re using a Kindle Fire, you will have to read magazine while connected to the Internet in the Silk browser.) I’ll be honest—I tried reading a magazine on my phone, and it wasn’t terribly elegant, because to make the magazine page big enough to read, I was swiping all over the screen, but on at least a 7 inch tablet screen, I think it works pretty darn well.
So, how do you find these magazines to read? Well, if you’re using the Libby app, simply open up the app, go to Library, and search for the name of a magazine the same way you would search for a book. On a computer, go to the website: ohioebooks.com and SIGN IN at the top right of the page with your Library Card Number and PIN and start searching or browsing.
When you find the title you’re looking for, you will have the option to check out all of the issues owned by the Ohio Digital Library. Since the service just started last month, there are only one or two issues available for most magazines. Just tap on BORROW, and then check your Shelf (the three books icon in a browser ) to begin reading.
There are a couple of cool things to keep in mind about magazines. One, they are what we call simultaneous use, meaning any number of people can have an issue out at the same time—no holds list, no waiting. Also, magazines don’t count against your limit of 10 items out at a time. This means you can have the latest issue of PC World checked out, as well as all the available issues of House Beautiful and last month’s Cosmo, plus 10 ebooks and audiobooks. And even though check outs last 21 days, you can always renew magazines 3 days before they are due.
Right now, the selection is small, but pretty diverse. And it works well, so really, go check out some magazines!