Free subscriptions to your favorite magazines? It sounds too good to be true, but patrons of the Library now have full access to the “online newsstand” Zinio.
“Zinio provides free magazines in digital format to our patrons, either in the library on our PCs, or on their personal computers at home, or on their mobile devices,” explains Joel Jones, the Library’s director of branches and outreach services.
“This isn’t a text-only thing,” Jones says. “It’s the actual magazine as you buy it on the newsstand. You get the layouts, the photos … it’s as if you had a physical copy of the magazine in your hand.”
Among the 110 magazines currently available through Zinio is a broad selection of mainstream and special-interest publications like Forbes, Utne Reader, Rolling Stone, Seventeen, Us Weekly, Smithsonian, Newsweek, The Economist, Car and Driver, Billboard, Field & Stream, Mother Jones, and The Nation. Magazines in Spanish are offered as well, such as the Spanish-language versions of Seventeen and Cosmopolitan.
Magazines downloaded to an individual’s devices remain there until deleted.
“Almost anything you’ll find on a normal newsstand you’ll find on Zinio,” Jones says. “And we’re taking suggestions for additional publications to add to the service.”
To subscribe library patrons need only go to kclbrary.org/zinio  and follow the instructions.
According to Jones: “This requires creating two accounts, one with the library and one with Zinio. If you’re doing this from outside the library you will need your library card number and PIN.”
Patrons who encounter a learning curve in subscribing to Zinio are encouraged to seek assistance at the service desk at their local branch library .
About the Author
Robert W. Butler  is a lifelong Kansas City area resident, a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School and the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. For several decades he was the movie editor of the Kansas City Star; he now writes a movie-themed blog at butlerscinemascene.com . He joined the Library's Public Affairs team in 2012.