Is a library still a library if it doesn’t have books? We’ll find out this fall, when North America’s first book-less public library opens in San Antonio, Texas. It’ll be called BiblioTech and its founders say it’ll look like any other library – with tables and chairs for reading, and computers for doing research. But instead of physical books, BiblioTech will only offer digital eBooks.
In fact, when it opens, BiblioTech expects to have access to over 10,000 eBook titles, with plans to add more each year. There will also be 100 computer stations, laptops, and tablets available to use on site, plus 100 e-Readers available for people to load up with eBooks, check out, and take home. Or, you can bring in your own devices, and load those with eBooks.
Like traditional libraries, BiblioTech is intended to be a “learning environment,” where you can surf the Web, watch movies, and listen to music. But the only paper you’ll see at BiblioTech is if you find something online that you want to print out. Experts say you can print anything – but you’ll be charged for the paper.
And don’t be surprised if more book-less libraries begin popping up in more places. As one BiblioTech founder put it: The world is changing, and going book-less is the best, most effective way for new libraries to bring their services to the community.