App of the Week – Zinio

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.


If you are a magazine lover and have an Army Knowledge Online (AKO) account, and the idea of having free access to over 200 subscriptions sounds appealing, then this week’s app is for you. Zinio is a digital newsstand that allows you to read full copies of your favorite magazines on a computer, tablet or mobile device using the free Zinio Reader app. Once a title is checked out, it is yours to keep – forever! For titles accessed through the USMA Library/Army, there is no limit to the amount of magazines you can check out and no waiting periods because multiple people can simultaneously borrow the same title at the same time. Many popular magazines are available through Zinio – such as: Newsweek, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Popular Mechanics, Esquire, National Geographic, Popular Science, and ESPN the magazine.

For those of you without an AKO account, you can still use the Zinio app, however, you must subscribe to magazines you are interested in viewing.

To access magazines via Zinio and the free Zinio Reader app you must create two separate accounts.

First, you create a library Zinio Collection account using the AKO library services page, and then a second, personal reader account to view the magazines. Here’s how it works!

Login to AKO – and select – Self Service – My library.


Scroll down the page and select the Zinio Icon.


You should now see the Zinio Collection page. To access these titles – Select “Create New Account” from the top right of the screen.

You will be prompted to enter an access key – use AKO and complete the registration form.


Now you are ready to check out a magazine! Browse the titles, and when you find one you want – click on it. You will see the word “Success” as a confirmation of check out. Next – to “Start Reading” – you will have to create a SECOND, personal account – which will allow you to read the magazine in Your Library tab on or the Zinio Reader app.

Now install the Zinio Reader App on your device to read your magazines. Sign in using the second, personal reading account you created to download and read your magazines.


More helpful features:

  • No waiting or checkout periods.
  • Interactive elements such as audio and video.
  • Multiple viewing platforms (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.).
  • Intuitive searching and navigating within each magazine.
  • Current Issues — new issues are released simultaneously with the print edition. Many are available before they arrive at your library and are ready for immediate download.
  • No limit – permanent check out — check out as many issues as you want and keep them in your account as long as you wish.


  • You can only use the Zinio app to read your magazines.
  • You have to manage your account on a Web browser (to browse, check out or permanently delete library magazines).
  • Mobile devices with small screens may cause slow loading or prevent loading of content altogether.
  • You need to download the magazine to read it – requiring internet/network access.
  • If you download too many magazines, it can take up lots of storage on your mobile device.
  • There is a monetary subscription service offered through, which can cause confusion if you only want to access free titles through the library. If you need help figuring out what’s what, please ask!

Bottom Line:

Using the library’s Zinio magazine subscription service provides you with access to over 200 magazine titles for free. Use the Zinio reader app to store and read selections at your leisure. If you need any help accessing Zinio through AKO, please let us know – and as always, feel free to let us know what you think!

More information:

Zinio for Libraries Overview (8 minutes)

Zinio Magazine Newsstand & Reader | PC Mag Review

Is Zinio Pushing Digital Publications Forward?

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Karen Shea, Reference Librarian