­Biblio Tech: First library without books to open in USA

AFP Photo / Emmanuel Dunand

AFP Photo / Emmanuel Dunand

This is probably how all the libraries will look like in the future — lots of gadgets and no books. The US is about to get the first bookless public library.

The city of San Antonio is Texas is to introduce the new type of library, where there will be no books. Instead of printed copies the library will be loaning out e-readers and offering thousands of titles for the devices.

The idea behind the project is to bring the electronic reading gadgets to everyone, allowing those who cannot afford one the chance to read electronic books.

According to the San Antonio Express, the initiators of the project hope to open the first branch next fall.

“It’s not a replacement for the (city) library system, it’s an enhancement,” one of the men behind the idea, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff is quoted by the newspaper as saying.

The idea is to launch new fully digital libraries in the areas where there are no traditional libraries. Adding the bookless electronic reading service to old libraries is still an option to be considered and most probably will be introduced as well.

The project will require at least $250,000 of investment to license the first 10,000 book titles. Other expenses, such as designing and constructing the spaces and purchasing the necessary equipment are also likely to be significant.