Global Storytelling & Library Advocacy via Schiphol Amsterdam’s Airport Library

On our way home to Stavanger, Norway, we relaxed with Dutch poffertjesDouwe Egberts cappucinos, & steaming hot chocolates while checking out the Airport Library at Schiphol International Airport in Amsterdam. There was an eye-catching, interactive traveller’s storytelling panel that Miss T had to try out. Stavanger already had one story posted about the famous tourist site Preikestolen, a happy reminder that 1. We were in a library, which made us happy in general and 2. We were almost home, which made us even happier specifically.


I love how the Airport Library adds “relax and enjoy” value to the airport experience for weary travellers by including charging stations and comfortable seating that includes both public and more private areas. I also so appreciate how the inclusion of the library showcases the way libraries can serve multiple populations simultaneously. As a piece of library advocacy, it is brilliant. It argues for libraries being everywhere supporting their communities both local and global, permanent and in transit. Libraries can transform a long layover into a more useful time to rest, relax, and recharge. With a library, convenient cafes, playgrounds, napping areas, Schiphol is marketing itself as the hub of choice for travellers and making sure there are multiple ways to attract customers and keep them coming back. The library is one piece of this business model that has had staying power.

As a good friend recently shared about transiting through Schiphol over the holidays with her two small children: “I loved the library. So, so smart. It was such a calm space in that section.”

airport library family
A young family finds a quiet corner to take a break inside the library.
airport library charging.jpg
My favorite daughter poses with the many chillaxed travellers charging and checking their feeds on the seating outside the library entrance, right on the gate walkway.
airport library internet.jpg
View into the library’s Internet Centre from the cafe right next door.

Branding the experience is so important, so I gathered some quick views into the facilities, decor, and programs of the library. Travellers’ book exchange boxes for sharing, a Dutch culture and customs collection for in-airport browsing, and extremely cool custom shades and Netherlands bookshelf.

airport library collage.jpg

It even featured a small children’s corner with coloring pages and a quick competition to join.

airport library childrens.jpg
And the interactive map of storytelling? We ran out of time in the airport, so on returning home, I went online to the site to add a story of a trip to the Stavanger Public library, or Sølvberget, Stavanger bibliotek og kulturhus:

airport library stories landing.jpeg

Super simple, easy to use form:

airport library share your story.jpeg

If anyone visits Schiphol’s Airport Library, check out the big screen and see if our library story got posted!

airport library thank you



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