The Bookless Library

imagesWhat do you think?

The Bexar County Library last year set up BiblioTech, the first all-digital library in the US (it serves the area around San Antonio, Texas).

With no physical books at all, it’s raised a few eyebrows. Here’s head librarian Ashley Eklof interview with Library Journal 

The library has 700 e-readers, 200 enhanced Nook e-readers for children, 48 Mac desktop computers, nine Mac laptops, and 40 iPads. The library’s web site FAQ notes BiblioTech uses the 3M Cloud Library.

Head librarian Ashley Elkholf who previously worked in the more traditional Wisconsin high school library thinks advantages include no more mishelved items, or pages  ripped out of books and unreturned items.

It seems that BiblioTech hasn’t yet lost any tablets. Plus the space is said to be more economical than traditional libraries despite the cost of the technology. The 10,000-title digital collection costs the same as physical copies, but the county reckons to have saved millions on architecture because the building’s design didn’t need to accommodate printed books. “If you have bookshelves, you have to structure the building so it can hold all of that weight,” Elkholf said. “Books are heavy, if you’ve ever had one fall on your foot.”

 

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