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

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens during a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday. His Cabinet approved a draft law that defines the country as "the nation-state of the Jewish people."

Israel’s Cabinet OKs Controversial Nationality Measure

The bill, which must be approved by parliament, defines Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people.” It has angered not only Israel’s Arab citizens, but also members of the coalition government.


Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Will Step Down, Once Successor Is Confirmed

The news comes as troops pull out of Afghanistan and begin a new offensive against the Islamic State. “Hagel was not seen as a very forceful secretary of defense,” NPR’s Tom Bowman says.


With Deadline Looming, Whispers Of Extension Begin In Iran Nuclear Talks

The two sides have been trying to hammer out a historic accord curbing Iran’s nuclear programs, but with less than 24 hours before a self-imposed deadline, there is still no news of a deal.


After complaints from residents, this tree in Reading, Pa., is being replaced.

Ugly Christmas Tree Will Be Replaced In Pennsylvania Town

Unlike Charlie Brown, the residents of Reading didn’t see beauty in a 50-foot spruce with few branches and an unseemly shape.


Washington, D.C., Councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, but started out as a champion for the city's disenfranchised.

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Dies

The fiery Washington, D.C., politician who was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, has died after months of battling a number of health issues. He was 78.


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