Library collection to reflect trends in magazine usage

A recent announcement by Oprah Winfrey illustrates how magazines are following their print readers to the online world.

O, The Oprah Magazine is ending its regular monthly print editions with the December 2020 issue after 20 years of publication, according to an Associated Press report. Published by Hearst, the publication will become “more digitally centric.”

Three magazine covers
The New Yorker, New Scientist and Us Weekly are just three of thousands of digital magazines available through Sno-Isle Libraries.

Sno-Isle Libraries customers’ habits reflect the trend toward digital magazines and the library is responding. Working with suppliers and publishers, Sno-Isle Libraries has increased the number of magazine titles available to customers online. Thousands of different magazines – from The New Yorker, National Geographic and People to hobbyist journals like Toy Model Trains – are ready for digital check out at any time through the library’s online catalog.

Given the growing popularity of reading periodicals online and declining use by customers of print versions, library staff recently made the decision to focus the collection on online publications and transition away from print.

In addition to growing preference for digital versions, COVID-19 restrictions on browsing and circulating physical magazines in community libraries and materials-quarantine guidelines contributed to the decision.

“We are seeing tremendous change and innovation among the publishing community and our library staff members are excited to quickly respond to our customer’s requests for digital magazines to access on tablets, Kindles, laptops – any digital device,” said Jessica Russell, Assistant Director of Collection Services. “It’s an opportune time to begin this transition while our buildings are closed in response to social-distancing requirements.”