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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 21, 2013 3:14PM
And what do they do if the power goes out? Backup genrators.  No power no gas for the generators. One of the worst ideas I have heard of since not teaching cursive writing in school. E-readers?  Kid loses or breaks his e-reader the parents are on the hook for a lot more than a lost book. How bout another kid steals his e-reader? Bad idea.
Jan 21, 2013 3:10PM
Will people be able to read digital books 200 years from now? Digital technology is great but I don't think  the current technology will survive 200 years. All of the history and literature that has survived on paper all these centuries. How are we going maintain the digital archive over the millennia? 
Jan 21, 2013 2:56PM
Half the fun of a library is finding something you WERE NOT LOOKING FOR!
Jan 21, 2013 2:44PM
I knew this was coming sooner or later. I think it is generally a good idea but it is going to put a lot of people out of work and that will only add to the growing number of people in the unemployment line. I have some Ebooks but sometimes I just like to prop up in bed and read a good book on real paper. I do think it will be a while before we completely do away with printed paper books but it is definitely coming so we might as well get ready for it.
Here's the thing, they have a bookless library that is available at all times to everyone, its called the internet. Why would you go to a bookless library when you can just find all that information at all times at home or on my phone? Its like they are making an expensive internet cafe. Then again libraries are a huge waste of money as they are...
Jan 21, 2013 2:23PM
When a E book has been around as long as a Gutenberg bible
Then we'll talk.

What happens when the current   format is no longer compatible with the next latest and greatest ?
Jan 21, 2013 2:07PM
It's the wave of the future and I see nothing negative about it. Why fill up buildings with thousands of books that take up space, aid in the destruction of forests and have a finite lifespan? How will it take away jobs? It will create different types of jobs. Why do people cling so tightly to the past and are so afraid of any change? Instead of walking through rows of dusty volumes of books trying to hunt down something I need I prefer to have whatever I want at my fingertips in seconds. The wave of the future is a wondrous and remarkable not something to fear. Just 20 short years ago people couldn't say they carry around in their pocket a device where they can access all the knowledge currently known to humans. What possible benefit to the human race does a paper book filled with words serve over digital access? It's interesting what archaic ideals people cling to.
Jan 21, 2013 1:35PM
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