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San Antonio Library Launches Digital Wall For Electronic Material

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
This vinyl wall desgined will be placed at the D.R. Semmes YMCA, several senior centers, and Haven for Hope. The QR Codes allow the titles to be located more quickly.

The San Antonio Public Library System is debuting a new way to expand the reach of its digital book system.

When going to the library you expect to see rows of book shelves, but now the library is experimenting with its walls. Its digital library community project takes vinyl wallpaper that looks like a bookshelf where each book in the image has a QR code, and places it in senior centers, YMCA locations, and at Haven for Hope.

Library Director Ramiro Salazar said the goal is to show what resources the library has available.

“We want folks to talk advantage of the digital offerings of our digital library,” Salazar said. “I ask people to visit the library’s website, mysapl.org, and you can also access the digital collection through the website.

Once scanned with a smart phone or tablet, the library patron is taken directly to a page where they can download a book, magazine, CD, or audio book through apps the library uses.

The location at Haven for Hope is designed to give the people using its services access to material they wouldn’t have elsewhere.

“I think what happens is folks still have a perception that homeless people are living under a bridge and don’t have to anything,” said Mark Carmona, the president and CEO of Haven for Hope. “These are families, these are young people that work, these are single men and women, these are veterans, and they do have access to this information and it’s required for them to be able to survive.”

The idea came from a phone company in Romania and San Antonio is the first library system in the United States to use it. The library is in talks with entities like VIA as well to expand the digital library wall even further.

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