At our hotel, I noticed a tent sign in the bathroom:

True comfort is complete when you can curl up with a good book. With our “Book it and Return” Program, you can borrow a book from our guest library, then simply return it on your next visit to any Country Inn and Suites by Carlson location in North America.

For each book returned, we’ll donate $5 (USD) to ProLiteracy Worldwide, the world’s oldest and largest non-profit educational literacy organization.


So, in the tradition of “radical trust”, as Michael pointed out this morning, a hotel chain is trusting their guests to grab a book and return it whenever they happen to visit again. The books themselves were printed for the chain; their logo and the program information are printed on the covers. They’re paperbacks, both for children and adults. Relatively new stuff – Sue Grafton, Richard Evans. Not a huge selection….but what a great idea!

I chatted with the staff about the program this morning, and the manager told me that they will occasionally have a guest take a book and sit in the lobby in front of the fireplace and read all night.

I wonder what we can learn from this?



Filed under Customer Service, Libraries and Librarianship, TTWMN

3 responses to “Competition

  1. Barbara Misselt

    Or maybe (at least in this one way) they’re learning from us? Public libraries in Minnesota agree (at least in theory) to honor other MN public library cards. Through the statewide delivery system, folks can return a book at any public library in the state.

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  3. I think it’s Cracker Barrel that operates a lending library of audiobooks. Pick one up at any Cracker Barrel, and return at any other Cracker Barrel. I’ve always thought that was pretty great. I’ve never checked out the details (cost, membership…) but I think they’re the first nationwide lending-library of any type…

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