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August 14, 2018

Philadelphia airport installs 'short story dispenser' to help travelers pass time

Travel Airports
Stock_Carroll - Philadelphia International Airport Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Philadelphia International Airport.

Philadelphia International Airport appears to be on a mission to improve the traveler experience: first they made a quiet room, and now they're offering free reading material for it.

The airport recently announced the installation of a "Short Story Dispenser" in the Virtual Library of the Terminal D/E connector, a partnership introduced by airport CEO Chellie Cameron and Free Library of Philadelphia president and director Siobhan Reardon.

The dispensers are the creation of Short Édition, a French community publisher that accepts user-generated stories and places them in reading length categories of one, three and five minutes. A five-foot tall, screenless kiosk invites travelers to select a reading length and then prints out the story on eco-friendly paper.

“PHL is the first airport location for the Short Édition Story Dispenser in the country and one of three dispensers in the entire city of Philadelphia, so this is very exciting for us,” said Cameron. “We have a wide range of passengers who travel through the airport and the stories can be enjoyable to everyone.”

A grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Public Library Association supports the new dispenser in the Virtual Library, which launched in 2014 and provides travelers access to the free library's vast electronic library.

“Our goals are to create excitement about reading in unexpected places throughout the city and to increase public awareness of the Free Library’s programs and services,” said Reardon. “Having a kiosk at Philadelphia International Airport in the Library space there continues our outreach to people who may not be Free Library regulars, but who would enjoy a quick, accessible read."


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