Amazing Online Features from Your Local Libraries

Our metro libraries have gone high-tech, offering eBooks and magazines, even MP3’s of your favorite audiobooks, all for free.  All you need is active library account, an Internet connection, and an Internet-enabled device.


1. Zinio free magazine app.  Zinio gives you access to 97 magazines, and you can check out as many as you want, for as long as you want, FOR FREE.

With Zinio, you need to set up two separate log-in accounts:  a library/Zinio account to browse the magazine collection, and a account to actually read the magazine on your electronic device.  What’s available for check out?  Magazines such as Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Martha Stewart Living, and my favorite, US Weekly.

Zinio works for PC or Mac computers, IPhones, IPads, Android, Kindle Fire, and Blackberry Playbook.  I found the best instructions on how to get Zinio at the St. Paul Library’s website,  They have an instructional video, as well as an instruction manual from Zinio you can download.

Zinio free magazines are available through the Ramsey County libraries, the Dakota County libraries, the Fairbault public library, and the Austin public library websites.


2. eBooks from OverDrive.  In a combined effort from your local library and OverDrive, you can check out over 5,000 eBooks, both fiction and nonfiction, including titles like Game of Thrones, The Help, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

You can check out up to 10 titles at a time, and then choose how long you’d like to keep them – 7, 14, or 21 days.  Then the books are automatically transferred back to the library.  That means no overdue fees!

OverDrive works on PC’s and Mac’s, IPhones, IPads, Androids, Blackberries, and a variety of eReaders like Barnes and Noble’s Nook.  For a complete list of devices, and to help with any technical issues, log on to  And to download the program you need to read the eBook on your device, log on to your local library’s website.

OverDrive eBooks are available through the Ramsey, Hennepin, Dakota, Washington, and Anoka County Libraries websites.


3. Audio eBooks from OneClickdigital.  This idea is perfect for folks with IPods, IPhones and Androids… and without time to actually read a book.  Instead, you can download the MP3 of an audiobook, and listen to it while you go about your business.  With thousands of books to hear, fiction and nonfiction, you’re bound to find something that’s music to your ears.

OneClickdigital is available through the big five metro county libraries websites.  Most of the libraries will allow you to checkout up to 10 titles at a time, and keep them for up to 21 days.  Ramsey County will even let you renew a title for an additional 7 days.  And just like with an eBook, the audiobook automatically returns to the library, so no overdue fees.


Caveat:  You do need to live in the county where you access these downloads.  For example, I couldn’t use Hennepin County’s OverDrive system, because I live in Ramsey County.  I would have to use Ramsey County’s site and materials.

This entry was posted in As Seen On Fox 9, Stuff To Do, Thrifty Tips and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Posted March 8, 2013 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found
    a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is
    entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

3 × nine =

  • Chosen by The Cheap Chick

    The Cheap Chick's Daily Deal

    Where I Thrift

    Everyone has their favorite thrift stores, right?  Okay, you do if you love thrifting as much as I do!  Here are the stores where I enjoy popping tags:

    Saver’s in Bloomington – close proximity to Prestigious West Bloomington and Edina equals excellent, higher end thrift scores.  Remember, if you donate?  You receive a 20% off coupon you can use right away!

    Saver’s in Columbia Heights – it’s the nearest thrift store to my house, and they have the NICEST staff of any Saver’s in the TC, in my humble opinion.

    ARC Value Village – For me, ARC is hit or miss.  I either score BIG, or leave empty-handed.  Either way, I always enjoy perusing this tidy, friendly shop.