OWHL Trials Flipster, Grants Students Free and Unlimited Access to Over 100 Magazines

The Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL) is currently trialling Flipster, a digital app service that provides popular periodicals and magazines to its subscribers. During the month-long trial period, students will have free and unlimited access to approximately 143 magazines and periodicals for recreational reading via iOS-equipped technology, according to Stephanie Aude, Instructional Librarian. The trial has already begun and will last for about another month. “There are many advantages to using Flipster. Once [OWHL] decides to subscribe to a magazine or a periodical on Flipster, students [can] download the application on their iPads or iPhones and get access to the magazine digitally wherever they are, without paying for the subscriptions. Also, the digital subscriptions are available to multiple students at once, unlike the paperback subscriptions in the Freeman Room,” said Aude. “The collection on Flipster isn’t as extensive as [Andover] wants it to be… There is another popular digital magazine program called Zinio, which has a much bigger collection than Flipster, but we decided to look at other products because Zinio does a lot of upselling,” she continued. Flipster was first introduced to Andover by EBSCO, a company from which the school currently purchases all of its paperback magazines. Although Flipster is not the first mobile application created to provide digital subscriptions to magazines and periodicals, the OWHL found the product easily accessible and user-friendly for students, according to Aude. While Flipster is currently only accessible to iOS users, the EBSCO development team is also working to add Android and Windows accessibility, according to Aude. “EBSCO is a company that we already have a big relationship with; they are local and we feel that they are not going to upsell to our students… we feel that they are more geared towards working with students in a non-profitable way,” said Aude. According to Aude, whether or not OWHL will continue using Flipster will highly rely on student feedback. “OWHL is looking for suggestions on what types of magazines and periodicals students want to read and whether or not they find Flipster useful to have,” said Aude. “We really want to hear that people want to use this… The collection is relevant. It is a great, easy-to-use product. With so many people travelling during the holidays and kids taking long bus rides, this is a great way for kids to keep up with the current events and supplement their research materials in a very friendly, easy-to-use way,” she continued. Students can access Flipster through the website on any device, where they can download the application.