A Library Without Books

Many libraries around the country are adding eBooks and eReaders to their collection. The BiblioTech Library however, has no print books in it’s library at all. This is the nation’s first “all digital library”. Located in Bexar County, (San Antionio, Texas), the library is in a low-income, predominately Hispanic area, where very few of the residents have access to the Internet.

The new library which cost $2.4 million to build, includes nearly 600-eReaders that patrons can check-out and nearly 10,000 ebook titles in the collection.

Laura Cole, Special Projects Coordinator of BiblioTech said in a statement: “Buxer County has never run a library before and all of the surrounding county’s are limited to being established within city limits. We have been looking at ways to enhance the library services for people that normally don’t have access.  How could we address this in a cost effective manor? In the past five years the expansion of digital books and their availability to libraries is significant.”

The ebooks and other digital data are stored in the 3M Cloud, the company that won the contract to supply the first all digital library. 3M will also supply “Discovery Terminals” for patrons to use as a new age card catalog to help locate the books. These eBooks can then be downloaded to a variety of readers or onto eReaders the library patrons can check out.

For data storage and transfer Ms. Cole explained; “3M provides lots of data with their online reporting tools and how the content is being used.  All of our information is public and has to be reported and how funds are being spent and our annual reports.” 

Nearly 2000 area residents had applied for a library card and the digital service prior to this opening. The director expects many more will apply once the library is open for business.


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