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New library to be book-less

San Antonio's BiblioTech will be an entirely digital reading room.

By Britt Olson MSN Living Editor Jan 17, 2013 3:53PM

San Antonio’s Bexar County seeks to reverse the traditional model of a library with an entirely digital public library, the BiblioTech, which will open this autumn.

BiblioTech will be one of the first digital-only libraries of its kind.

Many public institutions have only begun to implement new technologies. Take libraries. Although computers are available at most, they often function as a search auxiliary and not as the primary media source.

Photo: Courtesy of Bexar County, Texas


But at BiblioTech personal computers, laptops and tablets will replace the hardcover volumes, paperbacks, newspapers and magazines that usually line the shelves of traditional reading rooms. Although thousands of titles will be accessible to patrons, not a single book will be available at Bexar’s new facility.

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Library members will be permitted to check out e-readers loaded with an assortment of e-books and media. There will be study areas and meeting rooms in addition to an interactive children’s play area.

In a statement, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff remarked, "The ever changing landscape of technology means that literacy is no longer about picking up a physical book and being able to comprehend the words; technology is changing the way we read, learn and thrive as citizens of the 21st Century.”

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The hope is that the new library will introduce digital platforms to communities that may otherwise lack access to technology. And although this library is a pilot program, the BiblioTech is not intended to replace paper everywhere. 

So bibliophiles shouldn't find the BiblioTech threatening.

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Photo: Courtesy of Bexar County, Texas


Jan 22, 2013 6:53AM

To me a digital library is stupid. What libraries need to do is just get more material. I've been going to the same library for 20 years and I've read nearly every book in there. The problem I find is that they don't put new books in very quickly and it's kind of a pain.


Other than that I find nothing wrong with physical books, or digital. So don't get rid of the physical books, just put both the options together, so those who like physcal books can get them, and those who like digital can get digital.

Jan 22, 2013 4:53AM
I prefer books but have no problem with "bookless" libraries.  It seems a very efficient way of greatly expanding selection without the cost of a massive building  And none of it has anything to do with saving trees.  Potentially you can have the Library of Congress in its entirety available at your desk or in your hand.  Now, what could be bad about that?
Jan 22, 2013 3:58AM
This is the future, My local school district is thinking about going to e-readers for text books because they don't have enough money to get each kid a book. If it saves money, great. As for libraries, well, I think paper books will fade away eventually and only collectors will have paper books. 
Jan 22, 2013 3:34AM

I find it ironic that so many people are against this and they are ON THE INTERNET!!!!!! It is neither good nor bad just the next stage of technological development. Books are made of paper and that degrades.  Nothing lasts forever.  At least with digital formats more people have access, that was the point of the printing press. 

Jan 22, 2013 3:10AM
Libraries are a thing of the past. Just call it a Cafe.
Jan 22, 2013 3:10AM
Jan 22, 2013 2:20AM
The difference between a book and computer is a book doesn't require electricity and can't be infected with a virus. I know some will say a book can be burned, well so can a computer.
Jan 22, 2013 1:24AM
as a over achiever in the reading department after going through 60+ boxes of books every time i moved and as I was in the military I moved a whole lot. going digital is awesome. the digital books will save millions of trees and a digital reader can can carry a crap load of books. now for the whiny babies out there "I like real books" "I like looking through the books and finding something new" retards I find new books every day by looking (gasp) faster by say Science fiction, science , mystery, you name it you can find it . its called categories. if you cant find a new and exciting book by accident then you really have no reason reading. this is the best idea ever dont be afeard of new things I'm 46 I aint afeard of technology  you wimps should not as well. freaking babies
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