Share This Page

Library cardholders have access to 300 magazine titles, 3 million songs

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 8:58 p.m.

Library patrons who received iPads, smartphones or MP3 players for Christmas will have more opportunity to use them with their library cards.

In addition to the free access to electronic books that libraries have offered for some time, cardholders in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County now can read 300 magazine titles on portable devices or computers as a result of expanded digital service. And patrons of the city and Moon libraries can download as many as three songs a week.

The price is right for both services: They're free.

“What we found last year in January was the demand for people who wanted to access our electronic collection really shot up,” said Kristilee Williams, library assistant at the Northland Library in McCandless.

Bracing for the onslaught of gift recipients, Northland is holding a drop-in session from 1 to 8 p.m. Jan. 10 for all patrons who received an iPad, Kindle or other such device and want to learn how to use it to browse the library's collection.

On Dec. 3, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh began offering Zinio, a digital magazine service, for anyone with a card from a library in Allegheny County, and Freegal, a service that allows Carnegie cardholders to choose from among 3 million songs.

“We had really great feedback. People said there's so much to choose from, they don't know where to start,” said Sarah Beasley, digital coordinator for the Carnegie Library.

As of Wednesday, she said the Carnegie system had 776 downloads of music on Freegal and 7,804 clicks on magazines through Zinio, which is offered for patrons countywide.

Beasley said that the song and magazine titles that patrons download can be kept. They do not expire. The parent companies of the download services negotiate fees to allow that, she said.

Adele's “Freefall,” the theme song of the new James Bond movie “Skyfall,” leads the Carnegie Library in downloads.

Moon Township Public Library began offering Freegal in the spring. It is not part of the Carnegie system but purchased and began offering the service in April, before the Carnegie system did.

“For many people, that's the only way they get their music now — downloading it,” said Suzy Ruskin, executive director of the Moon Library. “The younger they are, the less likely they're checking out a CD. Because we see that shift, I wanted to see the library ahead of that curve.”Among digital magazines, “Consumer Reports” leads the pack, librarians said. “Model Railroader” for hobbyists and “Inked” for tattoo lovers also are available. There are no limits on Zinio.

“Any digital material is the publishing model going forward,” said Marilyn Jenkins, executive director of the Allegheny County Library Association in Homestead. “It is definitely the wave of the future, and we're there already.”

Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or bzlatos@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.