Digital magazine newsstand platform Zinio and leading audiobook provider Recorded Bookshave joined to offer a digital magazine lending service to public libraries. The format, which allows readers to not only read on PCs and Macs as well as portable devices through Zinio dedicated apps but also supports multiple-user simultaneous checkouts, lets lending libraries select a portfolio of titles as well as a subscription based on different services offered.
This distribution partnership began a year ago for Zinio and Recorded Books in other English-speaking markets, but the official US unveiling didn’t happen right away. So far, thirty-five stateside libraries have introduced the program to their patrons, to successful reviews.
Aside from the very obvious benefit to the growing number of library patrons who only access the catalog of titles electronically, this program has some additional features such as access to foreign language periodicals and a highlighted list of very popular favorites. Once libraries pay for their base platform rate, they can add additional titles individually or in groups according to type.
Librarians so far have reported that this is a great way to let patrons borrow periodicals without having the hassle of shelving and loaning material that really wasn’t built to stand up to multiple users. It also affords libraries that option to offer foreign and niche material without having a costly subscription at the risk of having a low interest in that title. Perhaps most importantly, this digital venture allows libraries to increase patron and publisher awareness of the popularity and access to digital borrowing. This is at a crucial time in digital lending, as many public libraries are still feeling the effects of the mistrust in the publishing industry over ebook lending.