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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Shape of Things to Come

Later this year San Antonio will make history when it becomes the first place in the world to have a completely bookless public libarary - The 4,989 square-foot space will look like a modern library, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who was inspired to pursue the project after reading Walter Issacson's Steve Jobs biography, told ABC News. (A glance at the photo shows that its inspired by Apple in more ways than one.) Instead of aisles and aisles of books there will be aisles and aisles of computers and gadgets. At the start, it will have 100 e-readers available for circulation and to take out, and then 50 e-readers for children, 50 computer stations, 25 laptops and 25 tablets on site.

It's incredible how quickly eBooks have come to dominate and only a few years ago experts were saying that eBooks would  lose their popularity, that that printed books would make a comeback. And yet today, at the start of 2013, only a fool would make such claims.

Library goers will be able to take out books on any of the devices in the library, take out one of the 50 e-readers for a period of time or bring their own e-readers to the library and load books onto their own devices. The library will also be partnering with e-book providers or distributors to provide access to over 10,000 titles. The hope is to add to that collection annually. The county is still figuring out who will provide the equipment and has requests for proposals out for the e-readers and other equipment. 

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