Friday, January 18, 2013

Paperless Library Coming to You Soon!

Let’s face it – in the era of paperless and e-books, it was only a matter of time before a library to go bookless.

San Antonio Bexar County will be the first to open its doors to the first bookless public library. There will be plenty of books – just not the tangible ones, but e-books.

The library will open its doors in Fall 2013. Readers will be able to roam the 4,989 square-foot space. This library is the brainchild of Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who claims that he got the brainwave after reading Walter  Issacson's Steve Jobs biography.

The library will not feature the traditional aisles of books, but instead will boast aisles of computers and gadgets. At the start, the library will facilitate 100 e-readers for circulation and to take out, According to the library, it will also have 50 e-readers for children, 50 computer stations, 25 laptops and 25 tablets on site.

"We all know the world is changing. I am an avid book reader. I read hardcover books; I have a collection of 1,000 first editions. Books are important to me," stated Wolff . "But the world is changing and this is the best, most effective way to brin g services to our community."

Library visitors will be able to take out books on any of the devices in the library. They will be able to take out any of the 50 e-readers for a period of time. They will also be able to bring their own e-readers to the library for loading books onto their own devices. The library will also be partnering with e-book providers or distributors to provide access to over 10,000 titles.

However, the provider(s) of equipment, including e-readers, has not been decided yet.
Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble are known to offer services on their respective e-readers which work at libraries.

However, the library will not be completely paperless. As Wolff stated: "the only thing I believe we will charge for, is if you want to print out something. We will charge for the copies you would want to print out."

What do you think – is this a great development? Or, like me, would you miss leafing through (hard copy) books? Please let me know!

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