What's the Latest Development?
Officials in Texas' Bexar County have revealed plans for their BiblioTech system, which, if implemented, would be the first-ever public library in the US consisting entirely of e-books. They would be available for checkout online and at a 5,000-square-foot facility at which visitors could borrow one of 150 take-home e-readers. So far, residents have expressed enthusiasm for the project, but county judge Nelson W. Wolff, who's behind the proposal, hasn't fully completed the budget and admits that private donations will be needed to make the project a reality.
What's the Big Idea?
Some universities, including the one at the nearby University of Texas-San Antonio, have removed print books from their libraries, but so far the idea of a bookless public library hasn't caught on. Wolff, who has a fairly-sizable personal library of print books, believes that the future of books is electronic, and recent sales figures of e-books confirm his belief. Plus, Bexar County doesn't have a public library system, which makes it that much easier to start from scratch with new technology. "If you want to get an idea what [the new system will look] like, go into an Apple store," says Wolff.
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