As of a few weeks ago, BiblioTech of San Antonio, Texas, in Bexar County is the first and only library in the United States providing digital copies of books rather than the printed ones we all grew up on. Hello to the digital revolution.
Imagine, a library that has 600 e-readers in stock so patrons can take one home to read the books they selected. BiblioTech is also the first library that requires users to browse the catalog of e-books on large touch screens. When patrons find a book they want, they simply download a copy onto their personal e-reader (like an Amazon Kindle) or one the library provides.
The all-digital library also features 48 iMac computer stations, 10 Macbook laptops, and 40 iPads. All the equipment must be used on the premises. No loaners.
Here’s another game changer. Bexar County residents can access the digital catalog on their mobile device after downloading the 3M Cloud Library app. That mobile app allows the resident to link his or her library card to the BiblioTech system. Library members will have a “My Books” section on their apps that will show the countdown of how many days the book is accessible. BiblioTech has 10,000 titles. The digital books can be checked out for two weeks at a time.
The library has special events like computer learning classes in order to educate the public on e-readers and other new technologies.
BiblioTech is also targeting children with 200 special e-readers formatted with special kid’s content as well as a regular story time hour and a Xbox 360 gaming system hooked up to a large HDTV.
BiblioTech is certainly not the library we remember. Then again, the digital world has changed so much of what we remember.