A library that?s off the books

At first it makes as much sense as an aquarium without fish, but San Antonio’s new bookless library has attracted 7000 members – mostly from the surrounding low-income south side neighborhood.

BiblioTech opened in mid-September with 45 Apple iPads, 40 laptops and 48 desktop computers, plus 10,000 e-books for use. While many other public libraries have added computers and e-books, none have gone bookless – until now. BiblioTech is a valuable resource to the many people in the neighborhood who don’t have computers or high-speed Internet access.

The building which “looks more like an Apple Store or a Google breakroom than a library,” is a community resource – even though many people could simply download the e-books from home.

The impetus for the library came from local judge Nelson Wolff who felt libraries in the area were keeping up with technology. Wolff told CNN Money, “Not all libraries are going to be like us, and we understand that. But we sure do hope it's going to drive them to do more to evolve. The world is changing, and libraries can't stay the same. Not if they want to stay relevant.”

The first bookless library: BiblioTech offers only e-books (CNN Money, Oct. 8, 2013)