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Stories take flight at the Eugene airport

The library can change the dispenser's categories and the story content over time.
City of Eugene
The library can change the dispenser's categories and the story content over time.

The Eugene Airport worked with another city entity recently to install a dispenser at the top of the escalator. No, it’s not for hand sanitizer. It’s for stories.

The Eugene Public Library Foundation funded the dispenser, which prints short stories on wide, recycled receipt paper. Will O’Hearn is Director of Library Services.
He told KLCC, “It’s touch-less buttons, so you just wave your hand over one of the three areas, one says ‘local’ and that’s purple, and then there’s a red one that says ‘world-wide,’ and then there’s one for kids that’s kind of a bluish green.”

O’Hearn said the company that makes the device provides the “kids” and “world” stories. The others are from local writers. “Folks can actually go to our website and submit their story for consideration there," he said. "We want it to change and grow over time, so we always welcome those submissions of original writing for inclusion in the short story dispenser.”

This is the first Short Edition machine in Oregon. Assistant Airport Director Andrew Martz saw a similar dispenser in the Philadelphia airport and got the scroll rolling. O’Hearn said it’s a fun way to promote the creativity of people from the region.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.