IT’S nice to see people following this blog but what makes it really nice is then discovering they’re also blogging on the future of books and libraries. For example, I’m grateful to Matt Maldre for making me aware of the first library with no books. In a sense any computer room where you can download ebooks is a ‘library with no books’ and the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Applied Engineering and Technology Library claims to be the world’s first. I think this is a heavy dose of PR spin but also in San Antonio there are plans to open the first public library with no books.
Bexar County is going ahead with the bookless library – a system they are calling BiblioTech. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff told The Huffington Post: “The 4,989-foot, Apple Store-like space will offer 50 ereaders for loan, as well as tablets and computers, plus ebook loans for existing ereader users. It will be a learning environment – you’ll be able to learn about technology itself as well as access a tremendous amount of information.”
I love the idea of loaning ereaders as well as loaning the electronic books – a great way to introduce people to ebooks. And modelling it on the ‘cool’ Apple stores will help encourage people through the doors.
It may not be too long before UK libraries follow suit. Cumbria County Council proudly showed pictures this week of their revamped library at Kendal and it included these ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots. To be honest, they sent a slight chill down my spine showing how a room crammed full with books had been replaced by nothing more than computer screens!