Use Your Toronto Library Card to Get Free Magazines on Your iPad


Toronto Public Library has partnered with Zinio, the repository for digital versions of magazines (it’s kind of like Apple’s Newstand, but kind of better).  You can now get current issues of over 300 magazines for free, either online or on your iPad.  I tried it out, and quickly downloaded this month’s issue of Dwell, Canadian House and Home, Today’s Parent, Hello Canada (I kind of love trash magazines), National Geographic, Martha Stewart Living, The Oprah Magazine, The Walrus, MacWorld, Cottage Life, and more.  FOR FREE.

Here’s how you do it (follow these instructions step-by-step, because it’s a little tricky).  Do these steps on a desktop or laptop computer – it’s tricky to do on your iPad.

  1. Get out your library card.  Sorry pals that don’t live in Toronto – this one’s only for us city kids. (but check with your local library – Toronto’s not the only place that’s partnered with Zinio)
  2. You have to set up TWO accounts.  One with regular Zinio, and one within Toronto Public Library’s Zinio website.
  3. Go to Zinio’s website and sign up for a free account.
  4. Go to Toronto Public Library’s Zinio website and sign up for another account.  Do not log in to your existing account.  You have to have TWO.  Also, use the same email address and password for both accounts.  Trust me on this one.  Also, at some point in this process, you’ll be asked for your library card number.
  5. Once both of your accounts are set up, stay at the Toronto Public Library Zinio website and start looking for magazines.  When you find one you like, click “complete checkout”.  This will pop open another window with the regular Zinio website, and it will show that your new magazine is now in “your library”.

Now you’re done with the desktop/laptop, and you can go over to your iPad.  Download the Zinio app from the App Store.  Open the app on your iPad, and log in to your Zinio account.  You should see your magazine in “your library”.  Click on the issue to download it to your iPad, and enjoy!

I know it seems cumbersome to load up your magazine choices on your computer, and then go over to the iPad to download them.  But I honestly couldn’t figure out a way to do it all in the app.  It seems like you MUST go through the library’s portal website.

So, it takes a few minutes to set up, but once the issues as loaded, you’re good to go.  And that’s a small price to pay for free magazines that look gorgeous on your iPad.



7 thoughts on “Use Your Toronto Library Card to Get Free Magazines on Your iPad”

  1. You working, you raising a child, you socializing, you travel and then you read and surf so much…!!! How you find time for all this? I try to read up different papers n magazines but I just can’t get enough time :/

  2. Thanks for this! I discovered your blog from a link on one of the Leslieville FB pages and I am enjoying it very much. My colleague and I followed your instructions and it worked perfectly.

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