San Antonio set for innovative “bookless library”

Written By: Thatcher Michelsen January 15, 2013 0
In the coming years, more libraries could replace their book collections with computers and tablets.
In the coming years, more libraries could replace their book collections with computers and tablets.

In a world where books are steadily and surely being replaced by tablets and smart phones for reading, the question of what purpose the library serves has been quietly asked by towns across America. One city, however, has decided to push this community resource into the 21st century by creating a library that features e-booksinstead of periodicals.

According to Treehugger, a green technology news source, the city of San Antonio is developing a plan for a “BiblioTech,” which will be a study and resource center based around the idea of using computers instead of pages to do research or recreational reading. Set for the metro area’s South Side region, the prototype system will be opened to the public in the fall of 2013 with plans to continue enhancing the network in the coming years.

Nelson Wolff, a Bexar County Judge who spoke with the San Antonio Express about the initiative, said that generational concerns were the primary driver behind the project. Citing the need to keep up with current opinions about paper-based books and e-book technology, he envisioned BiblioTech has a way for libraries to stay relevant in a future without the Dewey Decimal System or long rows of encyclopedias.

“It’s not a replacement for the library system, it’s an enhancement. People are always going to want books, but we won’t be doing that in ours,” Wolff told the source.

He went on to say that the design ideas championed by Apple founder Steve Jobs were a direct source of inspiration for the project, with Wolff stating in an interview, “If you want to get an idea what it looks like, go into an Apple store.”

With the first library set to open sometime this fall, those in the San Antonio area should do what they can to visit this innovative information center. If this initiative succeeds, more libraries across Americacould begin swapping out their old, aging books for a set of tablet computers.

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