BooksJacket Copy

Paperless public library to open in Texas

Arts and CultureLibrariesBBCJustice SystemCrime, Law and JusticeNPRSteve Jobs

 

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 © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
Arts and CultureLibrariesBBCJustice SystemCrime, Law and JusticeNPRSteve Jobs
  • 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.

  • '33 Artists' paints behind-the-scene picture of the art world
    '33 Artists' paints behind-the-scene picture of the art world

    If there was ever a subset of humanity ripe for anthropologizing, it's the art world. This caravan of artists, critics, curators, collectors, dealers and assorted hangers-on are united by a purported interest in art and a language called "artspeak." (In this incomprehensible tongue, a...

  • Ursula K. Le Guin on speaking truth to power at National Book Awards
    Ursula K. Le Guin on speaking truth to power at National Book Awards

    On the morning after the National Book Awards, speaking by phone from a Manhattan hotel, Ursula K. Le Guin was feisty, smart and pointed — exactly as we might expect.

  • Shane Harris' '@War' details rising military-Internet link
    Shane Harris' '@War' details rising military-Internet link

    A thought commonly attributed to George Orwell holds that good people can sleep at night only because rough men are awake and ready to protect them. But in the modern world, two other groups are also vital to a sound sleep: software engineers and computer geeks.

  • Carine McCandless on 'The Wild Truth' and her brother Chris' life
    Carine McCandless on 'The Wild Truth' and her brother Chris' life

    In April 1992, Chris McCandless walked into the Alaskan wilderness. He survived there for more than 100 days before perishing in an abandoned bus. Since then, millions have become captivated with his story, reading about it in Jon Krakauer's iconic "Into the Wild" or watching it in Sean...

Comments
Loading