Taiwan airport introduces world’s first ebook library

Airports across the world have created a myriad of innovative ways to keep their passengers entertained, from airport spray tanning in London to an airport wedding service in Amsterdam. Now Taiwan’s international airport has put a high-tech twist on airport reading — with the world’s first airport library for ebooks.

The e-library, based in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, has four hundred titles in its collection — available in English or Chinese, and in ePub or Zinio formats — which can be read in the airport, but not taken away or downloaded onto the user’s own device. Set up by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, the library is run by the airport duty-free shop, and was created in collaboration with Taiwan’s government-funded Institute for Information Industry, costing over NTD 3 million. There are currently only thirty devices on which passengers can read the ebooks, which, as an article on ARN points out, is limiting when considering that the airport handles up to 17 million passengers a year.

Whilst publishing house Harper Collins has placed a limit on the number of times their ebooks can be downloaded in libraries, initiatives such as this imply that ebooks could become an integral part of library services in the future. How can you help to bring digital publishing to the masses? (Related: Ordered on iPads, meals are delivered to the gate at NY airports — Colour ebook reader for kids.)

Website: www.taoyuan-airport.com

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