Bexar County plans on launching its own bookless library system this summer. Upon opening, the so-called BiblioTech will be one of the first all-digital public library systems in the country.
- Editor's note: An NPR story about digital libraries does state that one opened in 2002 in Tucson Ariz. -- that library is no longer digital-only.
Instead of a library with physical books, BiblioTech will have 100 e-readers and 10,000 electronic titles to check out along with several computers. The $1 million proposal is much less expensive than a traditional library according to Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.
"We’re able to do this for a fraction of the cost that you would build a big library," he said. "As you can you tell the library system that the San Antonio Library System has – they’re big beautiful buildings and they’re great and they’re wonderful facilities,” Wolff said. “This is a low cost way of doing it and if it works we’re able to replicate it in areas outside of the city limits of San Antonio also."
The first BiblioTech will be located in the Precinct 1 satellite office on Pleasanton Rd.
Harlendale ISD Interim Superintendent Rey Madrigal said that with a lack of library services on the Southside, the BiblioTech will provide additional resources.
"It gives us an advantage because it’s not that our kids don’t want to, it’s that they don’t have the resources or the iPads or the laptops or the things like that and now they can come here and be able to download information," Madrigal said.
The county already pays the city around $4 million per year to allow county residents library usage. There are no plans to change that, but if these facilities are successful more BiblioTechs could pop up around the county.