Boomer goes digital

While getting ready for work this morning, I turned to my wife and said. “I’ve got Da Do Ron Ron by the Crystals playing on loop in my brain.”

She responded, “Well, that’s never good.” But I’m not so sure about that. I’m probably the only punk-rock aficionado who thinks this, but that song ROCKS. It’s one of the best examples of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, later copied by rock luminaries including Bruce Springsteen, ABBA, and the Beach Boys. It also instantly transports me back to the early sixties when a teenager’s only concern was catching the eye of a special somebody.

adams county library

In a declaration sure to elicit cries of OK, Boomer (at least from my kids), sometimes things just seem better in the past. Remember magazines? In my twenties and thirties, you couldn’t catch me without a magazine in hand: Runners World, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Outside. I subscribed to all of these, and I devoured them whenever I had free time. I kept one in my briefcase, my car, the bathroom, and my gym bag. I always had quality reading at my fingertips.

In my role as Finance Director of the library system, I have a front-row view of the collapse of the magazine industry. Once or twice a month, Barbara, the employee who manages our magazine subscriptions, sends me an email: “Motor Trend is going out of print.” Last month it was the Gettysburg Review. This month, Civil War Times and Interweave Knits.

I get it. I haven’t bought a magazine in years. It is much easier to carry my phone, but unfortunately, on my phone, I typically read the news… over and over… or scroll social media. I rarely see the quality writing I used to read in the past. What I really need is a way to get all that great magazine content right on my phone.

Surprise! With your library card, you can sign up for NewsStand, a digital magazine app that runs on the ACLS e-book platform. With NewsStand, you can access over 6,000 magazine titles—many of which are out of print but still maintain an online presence. Not only can you access the current issue of your favorite magazine, but NewsStand offers back issues as well. And even though it probably doesn’t matter to you, over fifty languages are represented on the site.

Now, instead of mindlessly scrolling Instagram, or clicking on CNN for the fiftieth time today, I can read well-written articles about the sports and bands and activities I love. With so many titles, virtually any topic that interests me is represented. And since the app is on my phone, I have it with me always.

Check out the e-library tab of our website ( and sign up for NewsStand right now. All you need is a library card.

As a parting thought, the one thing about paper magazines I really do miss: on vacation, I never worried about someone swiping that dogeared copy of Rolling Stone I left on my beach chair when I went for a swim.

* And if you’d actually like to hear the Crystals, Bruce Springsteen, or Abba, be sure to check out our free music streaming service, Freegal Music, also available from our e-library tab.

Libraries: #SoMuchMoreThanBooks.

Jeff Cann is the Finance Director of the Adams County Library System.

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Jeff Cann lives, works, and writes in Gettysburg Pennsylvania. His essays and stories have appeared in Like the Wind magazine, the Good Men Project, and other websites exploring mental health, running and culture. His two books, Fragments: a Memoir and Bad Ass - My Quest to Become a Back Woods Trail Runner (and other obsessive goals) can be purchased from Amazon.

Jeff is married with two adult children. When he isn’t working or writing, he can be found biking or running the roads and wooded trails surrounding Gettysburg, trudging to and from work with his Spotify playlist cranked to eleven, or reading novels and biographical essays. Additional essays and stories can be found at

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