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How would you feel if you walked into your local public library and instead of hundreds of shelves laden with all kinds of exciting books, you encountered a modern interior that resembles an Apple store complete with aisles of computers and other electronic gadgets? That, is exactly the vision Nelson Wolff has for BiblioTech, a new kind of public library that is scheduled to open in San Antonio's Bexar County, in fall 2013.
The Texas judge says that while he loves physical books, he believes that it is time to bring the library system in the direction in which the world is rapidly heading - E-books!
So while the library will not have any physical books, it will have over 10,000 e-titles for patrons to browse through and even download onto their own e-readers. For those that do not yet have access to an iPad, Nook, Kindle or other e-reading device, there will be a total of 150 e-readers available to borrow, 50 of which, will be reserved for kids! In addition, the library will also feature 50 computer stations, 25 laptops and 25 tablets for people to enjoy, whilst there.
The number of books available will be added to annually, so that one day, the book selection at this hi-tech version can be as robust as the one found in a traditional library.
This is not the first time a complete public e-library has been considered. In 2002, Arizona's Tucson-Pima Public Library System was the first to open a small book-less branch - However, it was located in an area where most people did not have access to computers and after repeated requests from locals, the library succumbed and added physical books.
In 2011, the city of Newport Beach in California, tried to transform its existing library into a book-less one - But the public did not take it too well and the officials ultimately abandoned the idea. The one place it seems to be working really well is the University of Texas in Austin, where the students love having a library that contains only e-titles.
So are people ready for a book-less library? Only time will tell. But if it does work, the judge will be able to open similar libraries in many more locations in the county than he otherwise could - That's because thanks to smaller real-estate requirements, the cost of opening one is much lower than that for a normal library. What do you think of this idea? Would you be thrilled or upset if your local library decided to go the e-route? Be sure to let us know, by adding your comments below!
Resources: engadget.com,mysanantonio.com, gizmag.com