Are You Ready for a Bookless Library?

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The nation's first bookless public library can be found in San Antonio.

Imagine visiting a library that doesn’t have any books. You could see that happening to someone born in 2014, but not now, right?

Actually, the nation’s first bookless public library, the cleverly named BiblioTech, is open in San Antonio. Within its walls are iPads, iMacs and tablets in lieu of traditional books. It was paid for with $1.9 million in local government funds and $500,000 in donations, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Are bookless libraries the wave of the future?

Some seem to think so. “I told our people that you need to take a look at this. This is the future,” Mary Graham, vice president of South Carolina’s Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, told The Associated Press. “If you’re going to be building new library facilities, this is what you need to be doing.”

Some people have traveled from as far away as Hong Kong to take a look. Local residents are also thrilled, AP says.

While bookless libraries can be found on some college campuses, this is new for public libraries, and not everyone loves the concept. Says AP:

Similar proposals in other communities have been met with doubts. In California, the city of Newport Beach floated the concept of a bookless branch in 2011 until a backlash put stacks back in the plan. Nearly a decade earlier in Arizona, the Tucson-Pima library system opened an all-digital branch, but residents who said they wanted books ultimately got their way.

What do you think? Is your community ready for a library like this? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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