Airport Digital Library
Boise Library’s Digital Airport Branch Opens
Selected Library Services Now Available at Gate B16
Boise Public Library and the Boise Airport celebrated the grand opening of a new digital library branch at the airport on Wednesday, September 10. A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening at 11:00 a.m., with Mayor David Bieter, Airport Commission Vice Chair Bill Conners, Library Board of Trustees President Margo Healy, Library Director Kevin Booe and Boise City IT Chief Information Officer Garry Beatty doing the honors.
The new branch is located at Gate 16 in the middle of the busy B Concourse. Six 23-inch touch-screen PCs offer access to selected library services. There’s also a reading and study area with lounge seating, three laptop carrels for passenger devices and multiple charging stations. Boise Airport offers free WiFi throughout its facility.
Airport Director Rebecca Hupp was in the Philadelphia airport this spring and saw the digital library there. She brought the idea back to Boise, to the delight of Library Director Kevin Booe.
“It’s a perfect partnership,” said Booe. “Waiting passengers can use Library PCs to check email, do some research, or read our online magazines. Our children’s ebooks are perfect for entertaining small children. And if you live in Boise and forgot to download something for your flight, you can get a temporary library card here and use it to download an ebook, a magazine or some music before you leave.”
“The Library is a wonderful resource for the citizens of Boise and BOI’s digital library will be one of the first in the country,” said Hupp. “We are very fortunate to be able to partner with the Library to offer this amenity to travelers. This project is part of our ongoing effort to make the Airport more reflective of the community we serve. We expect the digital library to be very popular with passengers.“
Of the six PCs, one is devoted completely to children’s ebooks,. Kids can watch, listen and read animated picture books on the PC monitor through the Library’s popular TumbleBook Library service. Two PCs are preloaded with digital magazines, with complete, full-color content that updates monthly. Two more PCs offer filtered web browsing.
The sixth PC offers information about Boise and about Library services. These include City of Boise FAQs, local news and weather, the Library’s online catalog and tutorials on downloading ebooks and music to personal devices. Boise residents can also get a temporary library card, which can be used immediately for download services and streaming music.
The new branch is one of only a small number of airport/library collaborations in the U.S. The cost, under $25,000, came out of the Library’s existing budget.