First Public Bookless Library Arrives

Having been raised in San Antonio, which is in Bexar (pronounced “Bear”) County, I was most interested that the NY Daily News carried an AP story about the Bexar County BiblioTech — a bookless library. It is the nations ONLY operational, public bookless library.

(As I have mentioned before, my Great Grandson attends the Del Lago Academy of Applied Science, a public school in Escondido, California, and that campus, which opened last September, was designed and built without physical textbooks, or any physical books in the library. Textbooks are loaded on each student’s school-issued iPad, and the school library is just a comfortable space with LOTS of power plugs.

The San Antonio BiblioTech is located in a primarily Latino part of town, so iPads and Kindle readers can be checked out with five downloaded books.

The BiblioTech Librarian reports that in several months of operation, the library has not lost an electronic device, and that the in-library devices, rows of glowing iMacs are usually occupied. The best favorable description in the article says that the library looks like an Apple Store (including the Geek-Chic dress of the Librarians) — or of the blogger  (who decries the very idea although he has not been there, calls it a “computer lab with the personality of a morgue.”

Having written about the eventual demise of books in libraries for literally decades — to the ANGER of the Rancho Bernardo Friends of the Library, who initially considered heating tar and plucking feathers — my prediction will eventually be justified. In the meanwhile, there is the usual  resistance to change.

One of the things I had not considered in my initial analysis is the difficulties of multi-story book libraries — they must be architecturally designed for weight-bearing because racks of books are REALLY heavy.

Of course, technology doesn’t care whether it is accepted, or not.

It is inexorable.

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