Boston Public Library
Digital Magazines

Our Collections

National Geographic on an iPadBoston Public Library now offers Zinio magazines in digital format that you may check out and enjoy on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. If you have never checked out magazines from the BPL before, read the Getting Started and Frequently Asked Questions below.

If you're familiar with the service, browse our collection available for checkout.

Getting Started With Zinio Digital Magazines

You'll need a few things things to check out and read digital magazines:

  1. Your library card
  2. A supported web browser
    • Internet Explorer 9 or higher
    • Firefox
    • Chrome
    • Safari
  3. An account at to browse and check out magazines
  4. An account at to download magazines
  5. An app from to read magazines

You can register for the necessary accounts as you find and check out your first issue.

Download the Zinio for Libraries -- Library Collection and Checkout Guide for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions - Digital Magazines

Why do I need to create two new accounts?

We buy our lendable subscriptions from one vendor (RBdigital) who manages your checkouts, but the digital files are provided by a second vendor (Zinio). Each company has a separate, secure login. Be sure to use the same email address for both accounts so your check outs from our collection can be communicated to Zinio.

Can I read magazines on a BPL computer?

Not at this time. We are working toward an upgrade that will allow you to read digital magazines on our public computers, but won't be available until some time in 2014.

I've bought magazines from Zinio in the past. Can I use the same account to download library issues?

If you use the same email address when you register for your account at, you can use your existing Zinio account with it. If you do, your checked out magazines will appear alongside your purchased magazines in that account.

Is Zinio a store? Do I need to pay for this service?

Zinio does sell magazines and subscriptions. You can use your account to buy magazines if you like, but nothing you check out from our collection will cost you any money. Just be sure to start at

Will I have to place a hold request for popular titles?

No. Unlike popular eBooks and digital audiobooks, multiple library users may check out the same issue at once.

How many magazines may I check out at a time?

You may check out as many as you like. There is no limit on the number of issues you can check out at any given time.

Do I have to return issues I've checked out? Will they expire before I'm done reading them?

No. You can hang on to the issues you've checked out for as long as you like and delete them from your account when you're done. Here's how you can delete issues from your account:

  1. Sign in to your account on the site.
  2. In Your Library, click Edit your reading list.
  3. Click the X on each magazine you want to delete.
  4. Click Done.

Can I get back issues? Can I request the next issue? Will I be subscribed to the title if I check out an issue?

Some titles do include back issues that you may check out from the "Back Issues Available" link under the title. However, you won't be able to request issues before they are published.

I checked out an issue and then received an email saying my subscription was canceled. Why?

Zinio normally sells subscriptions to this magazine. When you use the library to check out a single issue, Zinio's fullfillment process may treat it like a one-issue subscription. You may ignore notices of this sort, should you receive them.

I'm receiving promotional emails from Zinio. How do I stop them?

  1. Sign in to your account on the site.
  2. Choose Preferences from the Account Settings menu on the left side of the screen.
  3. Change your email preferences to No and click Save Changes.
Zinio email preferences screenshot

How do I download magazines to my mobile device?

  1. Check out the magazines you want from
  2. Download the Zinio Reader app for your device.
  3. Sign in to the app with the same email address you use for your Boston Public Library Zinio account. The magazines you have checked out will show up in the app's My Library section.
  4. For more help with specific devices, visit the help section on the site.

Where can I get the Zinio Reader app for my particular device?

I'm having trouble. Where can I find help?