October 24, 2014

San Antonio Public Library installs digital catalog access in the airport


digital libraryThe San Antonio Public Library has installed two kiosks in the San Antonio International Airport where travelers can browse the library’s digital collection and check out music, books, videos, or audiobooks onto a digital reader or phone for up to three weeks at a time.

Travelers who are just passing through the airport can get a “temporary library card” that lasts for 24 hours and has a limit of three items.

With the new initiative, the San Antonio Public Library has become the first library in the country to have an “airport e-book branch.” Signs near the kiosks read “Our digital library is open 24/7” and “Check out before check in.”

“I want [the public] to realize that they have the library at their fingertips anytime, anywhere on any internet enabled decide. And that they can do this all for free…The great thing is, I can read them in airplane mode, so what I’m on my flight, I don’t have to actually have my cell phone connected to the Internet to access that content,” the Library’s Ignacio Albarracin [SAPL Digital Services Manager] said.

He also noted that it’s a good marketing opportunity for the library and their digital media offerings.

“While e-books are our fastest growing area, we know that the potential market out there is even larger. This is a good way to spread the word.”

This isn’t the first time the San Antonio Public Library has come up with a new way to promote their digital collection. As Gary Price reported for Library Journal’s InfoDocket earlier this year, they created wallpaper affixed to places like senior centers and YMCAs that incorporated QR codes with direct access to the catalog.


CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly indicated that the OverDrive app used to access the digital content from the San Antonio Public Library was using the Adobe Digital Editions release that was recently found to be collecting information about what patrons are reading and sending it back to Adobe servers.

Claire Kelley is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House.