I’m convinced that a lot of our iPad, Android tablet, and Kindle Fire library users have no idea that the library has popular magazines that you can download for free. You can also view these 57 magazines on any computer too! Just go to Explore on the ACPL homepage and scroll down to click on Flipster. If you're not on a library computer, you'll be prompted to enter your 14-digit ACPL card number for access.
Click on a magazine cover to begin reading. Within that issue, you can then click on All Issues to view any available back issues for that magazine. A few magazines have limits on how many people can access a title at once, but most of the time titles are immediately available.
I can’t tell you how much I love this service! I almost bought an iPad just to use Flipster, but then they finally offered an app for the Kindle Fire, which I already own. Flipster also offers the app for Android devices and iPhones, though I would think an iPhone screen would be too small, at least for the types of magazines I read. The iPad is the sleekest -- lucky you, if you own one!
For most devices (except for the Kindle Fire), you can find the Flipster app in the App Store/Play Store. Install and Open. Find Allen County Public Library, select Patron ID login, and enter your library card number. You're in!
It is a little clunkier to get the Flipster app installed on a Kindle Fire. Here's how:
- From the home screen of your Kindle Fire, go to Settings.
- Select Applications > Apps from Unknown Sources (allow installation of applications that are not from Appstore) and select ON. Or find this under Security options.
- From your Kindle Fire, download the APK (app installer) by tapping this link (i.e. open up the Silk Browser and head to this blog post and then tap this link; or, email this to yourself and then check your email on your Kindle Fire to click on the link.) You can also find this information under Help on our Flipster website:
- Once the download is complete, tap on the file and select Install.
I subscribe to several print magazines, but Flipster lets me look at ones that I don’t love enough to spend money on (or that are not available in the US – hello Woman & Home). It also lets me browse magazines that only interest me now and again (Money, People, Consumer Reports, Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, Conde Nast Traveler). I never seem to have enough time or hold spots to get physical magazines from the library, though we offer a ton more titles in print than via Flipster. Each year, we add and drop some titles as publishers change their Flipster offerings.
It’s nice to preload some magazines to read before a vacation, a long weekend, or a trip to the doctor’s office. (I always feel a little queasy flipping through waiting room magazines at the doctor’s.) I hope you will make time for a little light reading with Flipster and see if you love it as much as I do! From the Desk of Ask a Librarian (firstname.lastname@example.org)