Army Europe libraries pull plug on paper magazines
January 27, 2014
LANDSTUHL, Germany - Army libraries across Europe are pulling the plug on paper magazines and going all digital. Beginning this month, patrons will no longer have to visit their local library to search through stacks of paper magazines. Instead, they can download them from home using the Zinio digital magazine subscription service.
The service, billed as the "world's largest newsstand," offers iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac, Kindle and personal computer users , access to downloadable magazine content for free through the Army Europe library system. Zinio has been available to patrons for almost a year, but Army Europe libraries still offered paper copies of magazines until this month.
Library officials at the Landstuhl branch say the move to digital magazines benefits both the Army and library users across Europe.
"Everyone at every library has access to this. It equalizes the playing field," said Landstuhl Main Library Director Shawn Friend-Begin. "The libraries in Europe are a lot stronger because we are centralized and this allows us to offer even more services to our patrons wherever they are."
Library Technician Deborah Arnett also touted the benefits of the switch.
"It gives us more space in the library to expand our audio visual collections and it's also easy to use and convenient … you can download it immediately, instead of having to go to the store and buy it or wait for it to come in the mail. You also don't have to worry about paying to renew multiple magazine subscriptions."Arnett said.
Before the change, the Landstuhl library offered around 110 different paper magazine titles, but now patrons can access more than 450 through Zinio, and staff say that number is expected to increase as the number of Zinio users grows.
"Any new person that comes into the library, I immediately tell them about Zinio because I love it and the more it gets used the more we are going to keep it around for," Arnett said.
Library staff members say they are happy to train anyone who may not know how to use the service. "I think a lot of people can be hesitant at first, but the key is to do it one time," Arnett said. "Once they see how easy it is, they're hooked."
Users must have an Army Europe Library account to access the free Zinio magazine subscription service.
Once logged in, they can search for magazines alphabetically or by genre. Downloaded issues can be kept indefinitely and deleted when done.
In addition to the Zinio service, the Army Europe libraries website also offers free e-books, audio books, music and other digital content that users can download onto their personal devices.
To access the Zinio magazine subscription service , log on to www.library.eur.army.mil/services/econtent and click on the " view eMagazines" tab.