Which online newspaper and magazine service should you use?

One of the many benefits of having a library card is getting free access to hundreds of newspapers and magazines through web sites and apps including Zinio, PressReader, International Newsstand and Library PressDisplay.

But which one should you use? Our quick guide will help you decide which suits your needs best.


This is by far the most popular of our services, and if you’re not already using it, why not?

Download the app on your phone or tablet to download as many magazines as you like, with over 100 titles to choose from including New Scientist, Good Housekeeping and BBC Good Food Magazine.

You can download back issues as well as the current copy, and you can keep them as long as you like. No wonder it’s so popular!


Very similar to Zinio, but with a couple of significant differences:

First, there’s much more on offer as PressReader also includes newspapers – you can choose from over UK and Irish titles and hundreds more from around the world. There are also more titles aimed at a younger readership (e.g. Commando, The Beano) and more Scottish content (e.g. Scottish Field, The Scots Magazine).

The other main difference from Zinio is that you can only download these titles for free from a PressReader HotSpot. The good news is that every one of our 26 libraries is a PressReader HotSpot, and you can download up to twenty titles a day!

Library PressDisplay

This site contains all the same content as PressReader, but you don’t have to be in a HotSpot to use it. As long as you’ve got your library card number you can use it anywhere. The only drawback is that you can’t download the titles so have to read them online. Today’s newspapers though are available before they even reach the newsagents.

International Newsstand

Unlike PressReader and PressDisplay, which have an archive going back 3 months for most newspapers, International Newsstand’s goes back around 20 years.

With global coverage and sophisticated search options, including the ability to save and export searches and results, this is by far your best bet if you’re looking to do more serious research.

And if historical research is your thing, don’t forget library members also get free access to The British Newspaper Archive,  The Times Digital Archive and The Scotsman Digital Archive as well!

Hope that’s cleared things up for you!




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