Understanding and Navigating Per-Month Article Limits

Over the past 20 years, digital news-seekers have seen barrier after barrier put up to deter free browsing of high-quality journalism, essays, scientific research, and the like. The likeliest barriers are pay-to-read articles (more commonly known as paywalls) and per-month article viewing limits. Many consumers simply concede there is no way around rather than coughing up cash and going over the wall.

But, to those willing to experiment and explore some inner workings of their web browser, you can also go around or under these walls. This article focuses on article-per-month limited websites using The Atlantic as an example.

Monthly Article Limits at www.theatlantic.com:

I’m a cultured man about town, so I enjoy reading an article from The Atlantic from time to time. Not enough to purchase the physical magazine, but if there’s an important political or cultural article (in this case, how SNL was last night…), I like to read it from the source instead of a watered-down version elsewhere on another site. Thankfully, I haven’t read any Atlantic this month so I get one (1) free!

Example:

Unfortunately, something else caught my eye while I was looking at the main page—doesn’t matter what. I only get one free article per month… right?

Wrong. Now, let me try to explain my methodology. My understanding of web design and computer science is elementary at best, so here we go: every computer page you visit records information on you. This information gets tracked in a variety of ways—cookies, history, etc. Essentially, if you delete those trackers, the website thinks you have never visited it. Thus, you can enjoy free monthly articles ad infinitum. You can do this a number of ways, I’ll describe my two favorites below:

Option 1: Clear site data

Let’s start with the complex option. So, you want to read all the articles on the Atlantic but don’t want to pay today (or you are trying out the site to see if it is worth paying for!). There are four easy steps to this process. The first is to open the Developer Tools Interface with the F12 hotkey. It opens up this menu on the right:

Let me start off by saying this interface is incredibly intimidating. Fortunately, we just need to know where to navigate and completely ignore all the other options. Here are the next steps (with a picture guide!):

  1. Navigate to the Application screen (top of interface)
    • (1A) You may need to click “>>” to the right for a drop-down menu to see the “Application” option
  2. Click on “Storage” (left of interface)
  3. Then, click “Clear site data”
  4. Dance party (not pictured)

Repeat this process any time you are prompted you’ve read all your free articles—I personally use this for the New Yorker and the Atlantic. This process may not work with all, especially those that require a sign in / free trial.

Option 2: Incognito Mode is Your Friend

Now, the simple option. Google Chrome and Firefox (and countless others, I am sure) have “incognito” modes that do not save your browser history, cache, cookies, etc. When you “run out of free articles,” paste the URL into a fresh incognito window, and enjoy.

My last bit of advice would be to check out your local branch (or nearby branches) to see if they offer access to news sources! For instance, my home library (Cooper-Siegel Community Library in the Fox Chapel Area) offers free 24-hour passes to the New York Times for any card holders (under the right side under “NYTimes”)!

Hope this helps at getting those hard-to-reach, premium opinion and news articles. Any questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out to me at smithc2@einetwork.net.

Cameron R.S. Smith — Cooper-Siegel Community Library

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New Year – New languages!

There are many benefits to learning a new language!

  • You can have a deeper connection with friends
  • Traveling will be less stressful
  • It’s a cognitive workout for your brain, keeping your brain healthy as you age
  • Your dating pool will widen
  • Increases career opportunities (and salaries!)

Mango and Udemy are great mobile-friendly resources for those just getting started and for those that just need a refresher. They are also great alternatives if you’re tired of the local, hostile green owl.

Mango offers 70+ languages, structured with lessons, exercises and clear goals. In addition, they have “Mango Movies” that incorporate what you’ve learned in lessons to a film with dialog and relevant cultural content.

Marketing Materials: https://www.promotemango.com/marketing-materials

Udemy offers a variety of courses for beginners and more specific courses with focuses on business, travel and exams (such as IELTS and TOEFL iBT). Courses can be as long as 40 minutes to 50+ hours. After completing any course, learners will get a certificate. Udemy also shows reviews for every course to help you decide if it is the right course for you.

Marketing Materials: https://support.gale.com/products/udemy

Leigha Lamont – Wilkinsburg Library & Eastridge Branch

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Popular Magazine Title Leaving OverDrive

FYI —

OverDrive recently released an update regarding required digital lending model changes for The Economist in the OverDrive Magazines Collection.

According to the update, the new requirements would restrict lending period access to only 24-hours and prohibit a reader who wants to access the same issue from borrowing it again remotely. For a reader to continue access to the issue, they must visit the library to renew access. 

OverDrive has decided not to implement this new lending model. As a result, all editions of The Economist will be removed from OverDrive Magazine collections effective February 1, 2023. The last issue available for readers to borrow will be January 28, 2023. All back issues will also be removed from collections on February 1. 

While this news will come as a disappointment for many library users, OverDrive continues to add new magazines to the collection regularly, including most recently, FortuneAdditionally, Allegheny County Library patrons have access to nearly 100 popular and in-demand digital magazine titles with the hoopla Magazine BingePass collection.

– Richelle at Sewickley Public Library

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Classic Overdrive App is going, going…no, REALLY going this time!

The classic OverDrive app’s sunset date has been pushed back to the end of April 2023. In the weeks before, current in-app messaging will be updated to give users a final reminder to switch to Libby. After the OverDrive app is sunset, users who try to access your library’s collection in the OverDrive app will see a message, informing them they now must upgrade to Libby in order to access the collection.

Note that while Amazon has not yet accepted the submission of the Libby app to the Amazon Appstore, users with Kindle Fire devices can also sideload Libby manually by visiting the below link. In this librarian’s experience, this works about 9 out of 10 times (the exception being on Kindle Fire devices that are too old to be compatible).

The Libby App for Kindle Fire Tablets | by OverDrive

In addition, users have been asking if the RTL (Request to Library) feature, allowing patrons to request items be added to the collection that are currently not owned, will be added to Libby. The good news has been announced that Libby will soon release a new feature for users to discover and share interest in titles that are not yet in the library’s collection. This feature will fulfill a top request from users and provide powerful tools to evaluate your community’s reading interests. Stay tuned for this new update coming soon!

— Heather Auman, Western Allegheny Community Library

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