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Bexar County's Bibliotech Shares Accessibility Message In The Netherlands

Eileen Pace
TPR News
Bibliotech's all digital, cloud-based books captured the attention of library directors in the Netherlands.

Bexar County’s Bibliotech is an international hot topic this week. The all-digital library's two directors are speaking to their counterparts of book-based libraries in the Netherlands.

After representatives from Stichting Bibliotheek, the national library foundation in The Netherlands, made a trip here in January to get a tour, they were eager for Bibliotech’s key people to speak at a conference.

Bexar County Special Projects Coordinator Laura Cole said she is presenting Bibliotech’s story of meeting the need for library services in unincorporated areas of the county.

“What’s happening is as people continue to densify the perimeter, people are farther and farther away from branch libraries,” Cole said. “It just makes perfect sense. If you can’t be building libraries everywhere, how do you reach those people? Well, you reach them through the cloud.”

Cole said the Netherlands is very big into libraries and they are always looking to stay ahead of the curve. She said one of the hardest questions she will have to answer about Bibliotech is: What’s next?

“We’ve been open for six months,” Cole said, laughing, “and the world is open to us right now, and making those decisions is kind of hard.”

Stichting Bibliotheek is paying for the trip though Bexar County is paying each director $888 per diem.

A side note about Bibliotech: patrons no longer must physically go to the location to obtain a library card and the whole process now is available online.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.