This is Banned Books Week, so is a fitting time to talks more about libraries and books.
My dh found this article about a library without books.
An all digital public library–a library without books–opened two weeks ago in Bexar County, Texas, the county that includes San Antonio. Called the BiblioTech Library, it offers 10,000 free ebooks to the almost 2 million residents of the county.
The BiblioTech Library seems to have figured out some of the problems of library lending of ebooks and audiobooks by providing an Ap that must link to the resident’s library card and which ensures that the borrowing time counts down from 14 days. The library also has a physical presence where residents can check out ereaders, work at 48 computer stations, or read on laptops and tablets. Not surprisingly the library also will offer computer classes. It even will have story time for children.
I’m sure this idea sends shivers down the spines of many people, but I think it is a great idea.
On the other hand, I deplore the actions of my own local library system. The Fairfax County Public Library, in its downsizing, economizing and modernizing zeal ignored all previous practices of conserving books and instead destroyed 250,000 books, several of which were in decent enough condition to be useful for charitable agencies, poorer libraries, and its residents whose tax money paid for them in the first place.
Needless to say, the public outcry was huge, including a scathing editorial in the Washington Post and a good old-fashioned demonstration attended by hundreds of outraged citizens that convinced the Library Board to revamp its policy on surplus books.
I hope the BiblioTech Library succeeds brilliantly and at the same time I hope we can all retain our reverence for books in all forms. They are precious!
Would you use a bookless library? Have you used any electronic services your library might provide?