December 4, 2013 Last Updated 11:11 am

Clark County, Ohio and Tampa-Hillsborough County, Florida the latest to add the digital magazine service from Zinio

Partnership with Recorded Books leads to several new library systems adding the digital magazine lending service

Somewhat under the radar for most magazine publishers is the growing trend of libraries launching digital magazine lending services. Zinio is certainly the leader in this area, following the establishment of its partnership with Recorded Books.

Back in March I spoke to Jeanniey Mullen, who was then the CMO at Zinio, about their library efforts.

gI_133666_Zinio_400x200“We felt that as the entire world is moving from a print to digital format, and from our side at Zinio we are seeing more magazines like Newsweek and PC Magazine move to an only digital format, that there is a tremendous opportunity to assist corporate and public libraries to provide access to their patrons who are interested in content without the restrictions and limitations that print has,” Mullen said at the time.

“We chose Recorded Books as a partner in the public library space to work with us because they’ve built really great relationships with libraries over the years and offer a pretty phenomenal mix of digital services – from audio books to language and a number of other services like independent films to libraries already,” said Mullen.

For magazine publishers the fear is that libraries will stop housing print magazines and go digital-only. On the other hand, library systems can not afford to display all the magazines available, especially specialty and international titles.

But what they are finding it is that digital editions have an advantage over print in libraries in that they remain whole, and so print is not be cannibalized at all.

“And that was one of the first fallacies that the libraries basically laughed about, because they said that with food magazines, with fitness magazines, with any kind of auto magazines, these magazines get destroyed. The first day that Men’s Fitness comes out they guarantee that every single exercise page is ripped out and taken,” said Mullen.

The second thing we realized is that in this mix of selections a lot of libraries are taking this opportunity to add content they could never get in print because it was too cost prohibitive, which primarily means content that comes from a different country,” Mullen said.

“They are saying that it would take us three weeks after an issue of ‘XYZ Italy’ came out for us to even get that the library, and it costs three times as much so we’ve kept to domestic titles. Now all of a sudden they can get access to international titles. And the third piece is they can also add these niche titles.”

Nine months after that interview with Mullen – who, by the way, contributed an article for our Tablet Publishing magazine app on reader engagement – Zinio continues to add library systems. Here are the latest two press releases:


Clark County Public Library Launches Digital Magazine Service

Springfield, OH – December 3, 2013 — Clark County Public Library (Springfield, OH), in partnership with RBdigital from Recorded Books (Prince Frederick, MD), announces the availability of Zinio for Libraries. Awarded Best New Database of 2012 by Library Journal, Zinio is the world’s largest newsstand, offering multi-user access to popular publications.

Zinio-topsellers-lgThrough the library’s website, Clark County Public Library patrons have unlimited multi-user access to complete digital magazines, which can easily be viewed on most Internet-enabled devices inside or outside of the library. Zinio’s unique technology digitally recreates a magazine page for page, including full color pictures, intuitive navigation, key word article search and interactive elements such as audio and video. “Oh, the Oprah Magazine,” “Rolling Stone,” “Mental Floss,” “Dwell,” “Prevention,” “Bloomberg Business Week,” “National Geographic” and “Reader’s Digest” are just a few of the popular titles that are available.

“We’re excited to be able to offer this service to our patrons, as more and more, our users are looking for online, digital content from the library,” said Allison Peck, Clark County Public Library Public Relations Manager.

Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Launches Digital Magazine Service

Tampa, FL – December 4, 2013 — Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library (Tampa, FL) has partnered with RBdigital from Recorded Books (Prince Frederick, MD) to deliver a new electronic resource: Zinio for Libraries. Zinio for Libraries, awarded Best New Database of 2012 by Library Journal, is billed as the world’s largest newsstand, offering multi-user access to popular publications.

Patrons of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library may now visit the library’s website for unlimited simultaneous access to complete digital magazines. Zinio features complete, full-color, page-for-page magazines with intuitive navigation, key-word article search and interactive elements such as audio and video. Magazines can be viewed on most Internet-enabled devices inside or outside of the library.

“This is very exciting!” says Andrew Breidenbaugh, Chief Librarian. “Everyone can enjoy new, popular magazines on their computer, tablet or phone with just a few clicks.

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