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St. Paul Library now has 97 magazines available to read online

The St. Paul Public Library officially launched its new online magazine service Friday, with 97 magazines now available to library card holders.

There are no subscription limits or due dates on the magazines, which include many popular titles like Billboard, Cosmopolitan, Consumer Reports, Esquire, O, Martha Stewart Living and the Economist.

The library did a "soft launch" of the magazine service a few days ago and had 70 subscribers the first day, said Sheree Savage of the library staff.

The city library magazine program is largely funded by MELSA, the Metropolitan Library Service Agency, which paid for 50 of the titles. St. Paul selected 47 additional titles, which its selectors thought would be popular with local readers, said John Larson, the library's digital library manager.

The magazines are available through the Zinio digital magazine service. The Ramsey County Library and Dakota County Library systems also have free magazine subscriptions through Zinio and other local library systems are expected to implement them soon, Larson said.

In the early going, the most-subscribed to magazines in St. Paul have been Consumer Reports, the Utne Reader and the Economist, Larson said.

The library also offers Newsweek, which has now gone online-only.

"We had the Newsweek print edition in all the branches when it was available, so now library patrons can get it online," he said.

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Coming to all metro libraries!

Given that our regional library system has purchased this at consortial prices (yay!), an online collection should be available soon via the webpages of all metro library systems - there are eight. Even in tough economic times, your public libraries are working to enlarge your access to information and materials for all!