This is the completely bookless library of the future… and it is being built today

bibliotech

Signs we really are in the future: Our libraries have no books at all, only computers. When we want to borrow something from said library, they lend us an e-reader. What’s that you say? San Antonio is already in the future?

The county of Bexar, San Antonio, is launching a library completely devoid of books. The book-free library is called “BiblioTech” and is only the beginning of what’s going to be a bookless library system for the entire county. While there are schools that already encourage students to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), BiblioTech will simply lend you e-readers that you can take home with you. To prevent theft, the e-book goes dead after the assigned borrowing period of two weeks. There will also of course be computers in the library that you can use while you are there.

As someone who never got the hang of finding the books in the school library, this sounds like it could make things a lot easier. But there’s a reason why people still buy books — it’s just not the same. Either way, this could prove to be a very interesting experiment.

What do you think of bookless libraries? Let us know in the comments!

[via Gizmodo]

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9 comments

  1. Totor

    Hello, I think it’s a good solution for one reason.

    If you are people who travel a lot of in all over the world, you cannot go to the library for take a new book. But with e-readers, people will be able to read his one thousand books, and you have the choice.

    On the other hand, if you stay in your city all the time, it’s more playfull and pleasant to put out outside under the sun for read a real book, with PAPER !

    Good day !

  2. naveed

    I get my ebooks from Amazon, but I want real paper books from my library. My library offers ebooks too, but it would be a sad day if they were to do away with real books.

    Why would you physically go to a place to get ebooks? It’s almost oxymoronic. One of the points of ebooks is instant delivery – to get them electronically without having to go somewhere. Even my local library allows me to get ebooks without going in there.

    One possible use I can think of for this is a place to meet around ebooks, but there are alternatives, I suppose it would be quieter than a coffee shop.

  3. JonE

    I have to admit I haven’t been to the public library in quite some time partially I suppose because whatever I can get at the library already exists online somewhere; that and our local public library, full of books, has been online for quite some time; not in a major metropolitan area either. I live in a relatively small community.

    Going to a library without books is very unappealing to me. Besides that our local library, yours too I imagine, has way more than just books for check out; movies, audio (in every imaginable format and media), magazines and stuff I can’t even remember. And on those occasions when I’ve had to do without my computer or connection for several days and really had to get online to do something our local library has a quite a few computers I can use, for free, all connected to high speed Internet. I’d say this is about as far into the future as I need to get.

    There is just something about a hard bound book; the texture of it, the feel and smell of it and all the things that @kelltic: mentioned above. If someday our local public library wants to add an addition of a paperless library I will have no problem with it; they’ve pretty much stayed current technologically, so far, but a library without books or the other things they have; not for me.

    I don’t really have a problem with the Biblio Tech idea for those that are so inclined, but a Biblio Tech system for the whole County where the whole system is bookless; No Thank You; Not For Me! And as @ds5929: pointed out, it sure sounds like a huge waste of money, no matter how you look at it.

    And I’m wondering what the late fees will be like in those paperless, bookless libraries? And oh my goodness; don’t lose that lent out e-reader.

    Imagine if you will, for just a moment, that you’ve taken a trip to Washington D.C. to see all the places that house all the history of the United States, including the Smithsonian, and everywhere you go instead of getting to see the actual documents and artifacts instead in their place are monitors everywhere and maybe some photographs that show images of what used to be displayed. Does that sound appealing? And what about the Library of Congress and places like it? Oh sure monitors and photographs would certainly save a lot of space. But, there is just something about the authenticity of the real thing; know what I’m saying?

  4. Enrique
    Author/Staff

    @kelltic: I agree with you except on one thing. A bookless library, one that would use the Internet to get its data, could enable places that wouldn’t be able to get access to books to have a place where people can read and find information.

  5. kelltic

    No thank you. And I don’t really want a bookless world, either. I got a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday last year. I enjoy it but am constantly reminded of the reasons I prefer paper. With regular books, it’s easier to mark my place and easier to find it again when I get lost. I can use a marking pen on paper and place a million little stickies hither, thither, and yon. I can go back to reread sections easily (because they’re so much easier to find). They ALL have page numbers. They never need to be charged.

    I’m sure that e-readers will improve (probably very shortly) but I hate the thought of losing paper books and turning libraries into electronic short-order spots. Look at that graphic depiction. Cold, hard, impersonal. What an ugly place to spend time. Of course we wont’ be spending time in them. I can’t think of any reason for them to exist at all, except to pick up an e-reader, when you can just download a book. All that’s needed is a little kiosk with a drive-by window.