BiblioTech (Bexar County)
|Type||Public library, bookless library|
|Established||September 14, 2013|
|Location||Bexar County, Texas|
The first BiblioTech location opened in the fall of 2013. The County-operated library cost $2.3 million (USD) and is located on the underserved south side of San Antonio. San Antonio is the second largest city in Texas and the seventh largest city in the U.S., but ranks 60th in literacy. The library had over 400,000 visitors in its first four years.
BiblioTech's second branch, the Dr. Richard Romo BiblioTech, opened in July 2015 on the west side of San Antonio and also serves the residents of Bexar County.  A third branch, on the city's east side, opened in April 2018.
The library lends e-readers and digital content rather than physical media. BiblioTech lends e-readers to those with a BiblioTech card; about half of the e-readers are on loan at any given time. Each e-reader can hold up to five books. Members with a library card can also download the cloudLibrary app to read eBooks from their personal device (iOS, Android, Windows).
BiblioTech also offers online databases and educational resources, a monthly enewsletter (BiblioTech In Motion), Story Time, and a book club which can participants can attend live (either in person or online via Google+ Hangout video chat), or view online (via a live feed or later on YouTube or the library's Google+ profile). Additionally, onsite, patrons can visit the circulation desk as well as make use of the library's 48 iMacs, dozen iPads, two Xbox 360s with Kinect, and many touch-screen video tablets with interactive Kaplan Early Learning Company educational games.
List of databases
Comparison to traditional libraries
All-digital libraries have existed on college campuses for years, but this is the first all-digital public library. Head librarian Ashley Eklof says that in her former librarian job at a traditional library, items would get misplaced, vandalized, and go missing altogether, but she hasn't had any problems with e-readers disappearing. The county also saved millions on some expenses, the architecture, and furniture required to store books, as well as the infrastructure to bear the weight of the books. The volumes they offer cost about the same as the physical books.
Some readers prefer nondigital libraries. For critic Jeff Jacoby the all-digital library model of BiblioTech lacks sensory enticements (such as shelves of books) that he believes foster serendipity in information discovery. He also notes the efficiency of printed books and appropriate delivery systems (such as Biblioburro) in some nonurban locales.
- Weber, Paul J. (January 3, 2014). "Nation's first bookless library opens in San Antonio". Dallas Morning News.
- Langford, Mark (July 25, 2015). "Bexar County dedicates Westside Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech". University of Texas at San Antonio. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
- Sullivan, Jeffrey (April 19, 2018). "Bexar County Opens Eastside BiblioTech Location". The Rivard Report. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
- Stern, Joanna (January 14, 2013). "The First Bookless Public Library: Texas to Have BiblioTech". ABC News.
- Hidalgo, Jason (January 14, 2013). "San Antonio launching 'bookless' BiblioTech library in fall, places its eggs in digital basket". Engadget.com.
- "Resources". BiblioTech.org. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
- "BiblioTech's monthly newsletter". BiblioTech In Motion.
- "Story Time". BiblioTech's YouTube Account.
- "BiblioTech's Book Club". BiblioTech's YouTube Account.
- "BiblioTech's Google+ Profile". Google+. Archived from the original on 2014-10-03.
- "About & Join". BiblioTech Book Club. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
- Nawotkajan, Edward (January 18, 2014). "It's Here: A Library With Nary a Book". New York Times.
- "Databases". Bexar County, Texas: BiblioTech. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "How it Works". Bexar County, Texas: BiblioTech. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "Resources". Bexar County, Texas: BiblioTech. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "Lynda.com". LinkedIn. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- "Terms and Conditions". Farmington Hills, MI: Mango Languages. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- Jeff Jacoby (June 17, 2015), "Life without libraries would be unimaginably poorer", Boston Globe
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