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“I found it on Google.”

February 11, 2013

Perhaps you’ve heard someone say, “I found it on Google.” I hear it so much I want to start a theme of correction: In fact, we find things “through Google” or some other search engine of choice.

Google benefits greatly from this misunderstanding, which eventually morphs into a sentiment: wonderful Google!

Google (or Yahoo! or whichever) takes your keywords and presents you with a choice of websites—it merely points the way, while also taking the opportunity to see who you are and where you are and arrange to present you with a flood of targeted ads, slowing the Internet down in the process, but I suppose we must take it on the chin.

I’ve no particular complaint about Google, since I use it, but we should remain aware of the nature of this relationship. You’re more likely to find something “on Amazon,” since occasionally Amazon will actually ship you something from their warehouses.

But even with Amazon, the stuff is often drop-shipped from elsewhere, bypassing Amazon completely except for the small consideration for service that no doubt gets paid.

Occasionally, modern physics gets mocked for its jargon, as if the apparent wackiness of its nomenclature reveals intellectually bankruptcy. I mean, “charm quarks”? C’mon.

But look how acceptant we are of names such as Google, Amazon, Yahoo. They’re all “entities” with personae. Ugh. Here’s a good one: Zinio. But it’s place you can actually get something using your Salida library account.

Zinio is an electronic magazine service, and the library has subscriptions for your edification and enjoyment.

It’s easy to use, and when you connect using the link on the library’s website, there is good help available, including a little video that explains it all.

As best we can tell, “Zinio” comes from “’zine” comes from “magazine.” It’s an interesting e-zine service—like ebooks only different. With most of our ebooks, there is just one simultaneous user per copy, like checking a book off the shelf. With Zinio, any number of people can check out an issue at once. Our collection will grow and evolve, but here’s what we have to start. You’ll notice overlap with our print subscriptions as well as new titles.

New to us are: American Poetry Review; Analog Science Fiction and Fact; Bird Watching; Earth; ESPN The Magazine; Esquire; Green Source; Guideposts; Guitar Player; Juxtapoz; Macworld; mental floss; Mountain Gazette; The New York Review of Books; PC World; Parent & Child; Sound & Vision; True West; Vegetarian Times; weightwatchers; Working Mother.

Already on our shelves are: Audubon Magazine; Bloomberg Businessweek; Consumer Reports; Discover; dwell; Economist; Forbes; Gramophone; Harper’s; Kiplinger’s Personal Finance; The Nation; Outside; Poets & Writers; Popular Mechanics; Popular Science; Rolling Stone; Science; Sierra; Smithsonian; Whole Living; and The Writer.

It’s a small enough list I presumed to name them all. We chose some from among the most-used titles in libraries, but I don’t know … we’ll see if anyone uses them. But we’ll be adding more.

Zinio has about 900 titles to choose from, but of course it’s not an exhaustive list. Some magazines we wanted are not available this way.

But try it out. If you’re an iPad or other tablet user, I think you’ll be pleased. The magazines look great on a big flat-screen monitor, too.

While you’re at our website, review the announcement for the “Arts at the Library” challenge show this year—“Letters, Unfettered”—and start imagining your entry.

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