A brand new library has opened in Texas well stocked with 10,000 e-books and 500 e-readers, apparently looks like an Apple store but really is a library.
Located in San Antonio’s Bexar County and named BiblioTech, the $2.4 million 4,000 square-foot pace opened to the public on Saturday. Interestingly, the library was built with $1.9 million in county tax money and $500,000 in private donations. It has a modern orange-hued look and, in addition to the e-books and e-readers, they have 48 computer, 20 iPads and laptops. There’s a children’s study area and a Starbucks-style café. Patrons will find no printed material.
According to Time U.S., it’s not the first time a public library has tried to go bookless. “In 2002, the Tucson-Pima Public Library system in Arizona opened a branch without books. But after just a few years, the library phased in printed materials. Its patrons demanded them.”
Personally, I think the time is now for the bookless library to gain traction, at least for young patrons. For folks like me who own an e-reader, but still like to hold and smell a real book, libraries and brick and mortar book stores will still be around for a while.
A number of public libraries have already undergone radical transformations to cater to the needs of its patrons, and this includes moving and consolidating book collections to build collaborative, digital spaces that adapt to new technologies.
In the Time U.S. article the question was asked, “Is a bookless library still a library?” Even if the collection is actually a huge digital database, it’s still a collection of books and reference material, housed in a building, and can be considered a library.
Click on Time U.S. if you’d like to read the article.