Digital full-text versions of thousands of magazines and newspapers are available free from several library databases like EBSCO, National Newspapers 9, and Custom Newspapers. These databases are a treasure trove for research, but browsing through the publications in the old-fashioned sense is not possible using databases. Now USA Today reports that Zinio makes entire magazines and newspapers available by subscription that look exactly like the copy on the newstand. Pages are turned by clicking on the upper right-hand corner of the page. Zinio sells hundreds of magazines and newspapers from its website. Readers pay per issue or by subscription.
Before you consider buying an issue from Zinio or another online periodical vendor or magazine website, remember that the library offers over 3,000 magazines FREE going back decades through its EBSCO database. Reference librarians will help you find old issues of Consumer Reports, Fortune, Forbes, Business Week or the New York Times Magazine and teach you how to do the research at the library or from your home computer. Printouts of articles are ten cents a page. To buy a magazine article or issue online can cost $5.00 and issue.
For research, finding a copy of an article, finding articles by subject and to save money, use the library.
For browsing through your favorite magazines on your IPOD, Blackberry, or laptop while on the go, use an online distributor and pay prices similar to subscribing to magazines in hard-copy.
The library and the internet are not mutually exclusive resources. Users just need to decide where, when and at what cost do they plan to use the resources offered by each.