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Library magazines going digital in 2022

At the start of the new year, patrons of the James V. Brown Library will have access to more than 3,700 titles of digital magazines available through the Overdrive platform, it was announced at the library’s Board of Trustees meeting.

“We will be rolling it out on Jan. 2,” Toby Schwartzman, the library’s public service director, told the board.

Although the service is free for the borrower, the library pays a subscription of $5,000 for access to the magazines, which Barbara McGary, the library’s executive director, said is paid through County Coordination Aid.

County Coordination Aid is available to library systems which receive funding from local county governments.

Schwartzman said that the move to the online service was prompted in part by many magazines dropping print and moving to digital offerings for their publications.

He also noted that during the COVID restrictions, periodicals couldn’t be borrowed so the library allowed some of the magazine subscriptions to expire. Certain magazines do not have digital editions and will still be available in a print format.

“A lot of the ones that we were getting are in there,” Schwartzman said of the service.

Schwartman demonstrated the ease of access to the new service for board members at their Zoom meeting Thursday.

When users log into the same site that offers e-books and e-audio on the library’s website, they will see a carousel which shows the magazine titles offered. Patrons can also search for specific titles and borrow the current issue of a magazine. Issues going back two years will also be available.

Up to 10 magazines may be borrowed at a time, and patrons can keep them for up to 21 days. During that time the borrower can choose to return any or all of the magazines and get more.

There is instant access to the magazines, and any number of people can borrow the same title at the same time.

“There is a nice feature for e-readers,” Schwartzman said.” You can get an article re-formatted for an e-reader or tablet.”

“You can adjust the text size and read in night mode,” he added.

One board member noted an added benefit of the service.

“It saves the landfill,” she said.

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