I can't resist spreading the news about a very cool idea: airport libraries.
Last month the Dutch Public Libraries, in cooperation with the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, opened a library. Travellers can find books in 29 languages, listen to music, and watch or even download films for free.
The library was inaugurated by Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, which sounds charming to me. In the U.S. we must make do with politicians or celebrities for that sort of thing.
Though we may not have a tradition of royalty in the U.S., we can claim a strong heritage of public libraries. The Dutch press release states that this is the first airport library but that is apparently not the case. The Nashville Public Library ran an Airport Reading Room at their Municipal Airport from 1961-1969. Follow this link to see photographic proof!
I'm hoping airport managers are paying attention to this. An airport library sounds like a much-needed oasis of sanity in the increasingly barren landscape of air travel. Might I suggest: no blaring television screens; no unintelligible loudspeaker announcements; and free Internet connections.
The only drawback I can see is that some of us tend to lose track of time in libraries. In an airport, that could be a problem! Simple solution: make timers available.