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Construction Begins On Digital 'BiblioTech' Library For Fall Opening

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio

BiblioTech, the nation’s first bookless public library, is now in the construction phase after Bexar County began demolition on walls in the Precinct 1 satellite office this morning.

Come this fall the county will open BiblioTech on Pleasanton Road with more than 10,000 electronic titles that can be downloaded to e-readers or tablets.

Commissioner Chico Rodriguez said BiblioTech is not taking anything away from the city’s current library system.

"What it’s doing is it’s enhancing what we already have by kids not being able to carry a bunch of books from the libraries. Now they can download it in their own phones," Rodriguez said.

The library will have 50 computers stations and 100 e-readers available to be checked out – or you can use a personal device like a smart phone.

The books can be downloaded from home or the library through an app. Once the due-date is reached, the book deactivates.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said there is a large digital divide in the area surrounding the BiblioTech, where many residents do not have the Internet at home.

"So this is going to give them an opportunity for them to come in, learn how to use that Internet, to access that Internet cause it’s such a valuable tool. So we think we’re going to be able to do a number of things to help the education in this area for young people as well as older people," Wolff said.

If the first BiblioTech Works, Wolff said several more mini BiblioTechs could pop up through the county. Commissioner’s court will decide whether or not to approve a contract from 3M, a book and e-book distributor who will supply the titles and library system, on Tuesday.

The county is targeting a Fall opening for the new facility.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules