Nation & World News

Bookless Public Library Opens In Texas

By Bill Chappell on September 14th, 2013

An all-digital public library is opening today, as officials in Bexar County, Texas, celebrate the opening of the BiblioTech library. The facility offers about 10,000 free e-books for the 1.7 million residents of the county, which includes San Antonio.

On its website, the Bexar County BiblioTech library explains how its patrons can access free eBooks and audio books. To read an eBook on their own device, users must have the 3M Cloud Library app, which they can link to their library card.

The app includes a countdown of days a reader has to finish a book — starting with 14 days, according to My San Antonio.

The library has a physical presence, as well, with 600 e-readers and 48 computer stations, in addition to laptops and tablets. People can also come for things like kids’ story time and computer classes, according to the library’s website.

A county official compared the concept to an Apple store, in a report on the library’s plans by NPR’s Reema Khrais in January.

And Reema reported that the idea of a bookless library has been tried before — perhaps a bit too early. That was in 2002, when Arizona’s Santa Rosa Branch Library went digital-only.

“Years later, however, residents — fatigued by the electronics — requested that actual books be added to the collection, and today, enjoy a full-access library with computers,” Reema said.

Sarah Houghton, a.k.a. the tech-savvy blogger Librarian in Black, who directs the San Rafael Public Library in California, told Reema that it will take be than 100 years before all libraries are paperless. But she added that 10 to 20 percent of libraries could go bookless in the next decade.

Some libraries have struggled to adapt to an era of digital options and budget cuts. In the Washington, D.C., region, the Fairfax County (Va.) library system’s decision to destroy a reported 250,000 books drew the ire of residents — and an editorial from The Washington Post.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Kinsey Wilson

‘New York Times’ Hires Former NPR Executive To Lead Digital Push

Kinsey Wilson was NPR’s chief content officer when he was forced out last month by the network’s new CEO, Jarl Mohn.


Gabriel Garcia Marquez, seen here in 1982, speaks to reporters following the announcement of his Nobel win. Among the materials in his archive are the many drafts he prepared for his Nobel acceptance speech.

Book News: Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Collection Gets A Texas Welcome

The University of Texas, Austin nabbed the rights to preserve and present the late Nobel winner’s collected writings. Also: HBO takes on Scientology, and Aretha Franklin decries her new biography.


Ferguson Documents: What The Witnesses Saw

The big questions in this case include whether police Officer Darren Wilson felt threatened and whether Michael Brown had his hands up. Witnesses differ on what they say they saw.


Police guard the Ferguson police department as rioting erupts following the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown case on Monday in Ferguson, Mo.

Ferguson Documents: How The Grand Jury Reached A Decision

The grand jury was presented with hours of testimony and thousands of pages of documents. Their job was to decide if there was enough probable cause to bring charges against Officer Darren Wilson.


A storage facility in Ferguson, Mo., is on fire following the decision Monday by a grand jury not to charge Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Demonstrators clashed with police and set buildings on fire. St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar said the unrest was worse than that which erupted after Brown was killed in August.

Brown Family Attorney Condemns Grand Jury’s Decision In Fatal Shooting

Attorney Benjamin Crump said the decision not to charge police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown showed the system is broken. The decision sparked protests.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments