Bexar County´s so-called BiblioTech is a low-cost project with big ambitions. Its first branch will be in a relatively poor district on the city of San Antonio´s South Side.
It will have 100 e-readers on loan, and dozens of screens where the public will be able to browse, study, and learn digital skills. However it´s likely most users will access BiblioTech´s initial holding of 10,000 digital titles from the comfort of their homes, way out in the Texas hinterland.
It will be a truly bookless library – although that is not a phrase much to the liking of BiblioTech´s project co-ordinator, Laura Cole. She prefers the description "digital library" – after all, there will be books there, but in digital form.
There are some libraries which will never go bookless, because their collections contain books that are important historical artefacts in themselves.
Although many of these rare texts are being digitised under schemes such as that run by Google, these books as physical objects remain essential resources for researchers.
It is safe to say that this library is getting a massive amount of media attention. Major news outlets and online websites have been reporting on the first pure digital library in the USA. Needless to say, this is very moving for everyone involved. Laura finalized “all of the press in print and digital are a driving factor for us, all the positive press helped us validate that the world is ready for us. People really want this, want to know how it works, what it can do for them, it’s so edgy.”