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There's a library at CVG — and it's expanding

a store space with books on shelves and people walking around or sitting on chairs
Jennifer Merritt
A look inside the Airport Library at CVG.

A library at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has been gaining popularity since "taking off" in May 2023. Now, the Airport Library is expanding thanks to help from several Tri-State library systems.

CVG approached the Kenton County Public Library with the idea earlier this year. It started small — just a modest collection of books and a QR code linking to e-materials from Kenton, Boone, Campbell and Cincinnati/Hamilton county libraries.

"If you think of Little Free Libraries, which have become very popular across the country, you can kind of think of the Airport Library as a Little Free Library that has kind of blown up," says Dave Schroeder, executive director of the Kenton County Public Library. "We have expanded the concept into a library at the airport that allows people to pick up books and to download e-materials and to drop off materials."

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The airport renovated a space near the duty free shop in Concourse B and added furniture, fixtures and shelves to hold the books. Schroeder estimates the library has provided more than 3,000 books to the Airport Library, and it's currently stocked with around 800 for the holidays. It's been so successful, Kenton County contacted Boone, Campbell and the Cincinnati/Hamilton county library systems to help out.

"We reached out to our partners again at the three local libraries and asked them if they would be interested in providing discarded/donated materials as well. They are on board, and that's really how it began and how we're moving forward to make sure that the library's well stocked and that people will have something to pick up and take with them on their next flight," says Schroeder.

Like with a Little Free Library, books may be taken and deposited, but there's no formal check-out system and you don't need a library card. (A library card is needed to borrow e-materials via the Libby app.) Travelers are invited to take and leave materials. The local libraries don't staff the Airport Library. Schroeder says they drop off new materials and airport staff move them through security to the library.

"It's a good way for us to make sure that those books that we've purchased over the years or have been donated and really no longer have a life at the library, maybe have a second life at the Airport Library," he says.

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The Airport Library has books for adults and kids on all kinds of topics. It is also accepting donations.

From a release:

"Books in good condition, particularly adult fiction and biographies and all books for children and teens, can be donated at any location of the participating libraries if they are clearly marked for the Airport Library. We cannot accept yearbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. However, those items can be donated to the Friends of the Library."

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.