SALEM - In another effort to keep up with user demands and technology, the Salem Public Library now has digital magazines available to patrons for their computers and mobile devices.
"There's no limit on how many patrons can access a magazine at the same time, no waiting list. You want it, we have it, you get it," Salem Public Library Director Brad Stephens said.
The library launched the new digital magazine service a week ago through a link on the library website at www.salem.lib.oh.us, without making any announcements, and people found it and tried it out. In the first week, about 200 digital magazines were checked out.
Salem Public Library Director Brad Stephens displays a free copy of the latest issue of Consumer Reports he downloaded to his iPad from the library’s new digital magazine collection. The new service allows patrons access to a range of popular magazines on mobile devices and computers as soon as they hit the market, with no limits on the number of simultaneous copies that can be checked out by patrons. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)
Stephens said the people who found it have been very excited about the service. Just go to the library website, click on the button for Zinio, the company supplying the content, and follow the directions on the screen to download the content. Library users will need to enter their library card number and they'll also need to enter their email address and a password to check out a selection.
"We're the third library in Ohio to launch this and about the 20th in the country. This is something we have been waiting for and watching for someone to offer this type of service," Stephens said, noting it's a service in demand by patrons. "We jumped at the opportunity to be part of that."
Devices he mentioned included computers, iPads, iPhones, Kindle Fire and Android phones. For more detail on requirements, he said to visit the library website and click on the Zinio link. The library's initial collection includes about 50 different magazines, with about 20 of the top 25 magazines available.
Some of the titles include Consumer Reports, US magazine, Family Circle, Reader's Digest, Better Homes & Gardens, ESPN, Runner's World, Newsweek, Food Network, Taste of Home, Prevention, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science and many more. An entire magazine is downloaded in full color so it can be read cover to cover.
There's no loan period, so a user can keep the download until they decide to delete it or cancel the subscription. The library is working with the content provider through a vendor. More magazine titles will be added and once a new issue of a magazine is out, users who have downloaded it before will get an email telling them the new issue is available.
Last year, the library launched a free e-book service for patrons, allowing them to check out books or audio books electronically for their Kindles or other electronic reading devices.
Stephens said the library averages a circulation of 700 to 800 e-books per month. All the numbers count towards the total circulation, whether people are coming to the library in person and checking out material or checking out material electronically from their mobile device or computer.
"This is part of the library being where our patrons are. As more of our patron base has moved electronically, it's important for us to be there as well," he said.
With magazines, patrons want to see the current issue now, not a couple weeks later.
"This allows us to deliver the most current content into our users' hands," he said.
If anyone has questions about the new service or needs help in getting started, call the library at 330-332-0042 and hit the choice for information.
Mary Ann Greier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org