Books Jacket Copy

Paperless public library to open in Texas

 

A groundbreaking paperless public library system will open in Texas this year, the BBC reports. Bexar County's $1.5-million BiblioTech project will open its first library branch without a single print book.

Instead, the BiblioTech library will have 100 e-readers for loan, and an initial selection of 10,000 digital titles. The library itself will have a host of computer stations where patrons can study, use the Internet, and learn computer skills.

Meanwhile, readers at home can check out e-books without leaving the couch. It's estimated that the library's services will reach about 1.7 million people in Bexar County, which includes San Antonio. The BiblioTech project is designed to supplement the existing city library system.

"Think of an Apple store," Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, the man behind the project, told NPR when the plans were first announced in January. As Bexar told the BBC, Apple founder Steve Jobs was a big inspiration for the endeavor. 

“We wanted to find a low-cost, effective way to bring reading and learning to the county and also focus on the change in the world of technology,” he told the San Antonio Express-News.

Bexar County's unincorporated regions are increasingly populated but underserved, according to Wolff.  "While the city does a beautiful job in providing public libraries," said BiblioTech project coordinator Laura Cole, "these can only easily be used by people living there."  

This isn't the region's first digital library. In 2010, the University of Texas-San Antonio opened one of the country's first digital-only academic libraries; it has been a success.

Other experiments in digital-only libraries -- in Newport Beach, Calif., and Tucson, Ariz. -- have not done as well. Both libraries wound up offering traditional print books for loan after public outcry.

While Wolff is hoping to move library lending into the digital age, he's not against print books; in fact, he collects rare first editions.

ALSO:

Ray Manzarek remembered the Doors in his books

Quantas Airlines to fly the literary skies with new book series

J.K. Rowling and other authors reveal secrets for PEN auction

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • 100 years of bookmobiles
    100 years of bookmobiles

    The German Robi bookmobile is pretty neat: from the outside, it seems like little more than a big blue bus. On the inside, however, it's an ultra-modern hangout with books galore. Inspired by its combination of books and wheels, here's a quick tour through bookmobiles of the ages.

  • Literary T-shirts a go-go
    Literary T-shirts a go-go

    Some people wear their emotions -- like a love of books -- on their sleeves. And with literary T-shirts they can do that literally. Some feature books' covers, others text, and others pay tribute to beloved authors.

  • New L.A. reading series asks: Fact or fiction?
    New L.A. reading series asks: Fact or fiction?

    In the past, fiction disguised as fact has infuriated readers. Oprah Winfrey took James Frey to task for the exaggerations in his not-entirely-true memoir "A Million Little Pieces." Author Misha Defonseca was ordered by a court to return $22.5 million for her fabricated memoir of being a Jewish...

  • Keeping literature dirty
    Keeping literature dirty

    I was almost sorry to see the developers of the Clean Reader app — which would have allowed squeamish or morally didactic readers to remove profanity from books — take “immediate action to remove all books from our catalogue” last week, in response to authors...

  • The strange, true tale of the naked bookseller
    The strange, true tale of the naked bookseller

    In Quartzsite, Ariz., at the sprawling Reader's Oasis bookshop, readers can purchase their books from a man known as the naked bookseller. Also known as Paul Winer or Sweet Pie, the naked bookseller has been selling books for 24 years.

  • Emily St. John Mandel's 'Station Eleven' wins the Tournament of Books
    Emily St. John Mandel's 'Station Eleven' wins the Tournament of Books

    It's been a good few months for Emily St. John Mandel. Her novel "Station Eleven" was a finalist for the National Book Award, and landed on the PEN/Faulkner shortlist and the longlist of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Even George R.R. Martin is a fan. And now: Here comes the Rooster.

Comments
Loading