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New Kiosks Make Bibliotech Materials Convenient For VIA Riders

Bexar County BiblioTech

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Bibliotech kiosks were available at the San Antonio International Airport. However, the kiosks at the airport are those of the San Antonio Public Library and are available to all travelers, in addition to San Antonio residents. 

The first all-digital library in the U.S. is expanding to include riders on VIA Metro Transit buses.

Just in time for Bibliotech’s third anniversary, the library has struck a new partnership to expand its reach and provide library materials to a new community of patrons who otherwise might find it hard to  go to a library.

VIA riders will be able to use new Bibliotech kiosks at their bus stations to sign up and get a “virtual” library card, use apps, and borrow books, music, movies, and publications.

VIA President and CEO Jeffrey Arndt said, "There’s kind of this natural affinity between riding the bus and reading in any case.  VIA is all about creating a connected community. And Bibliotech is about connecting the community on the information superhighway, as opposed to the roads and highways that our buses run on.  So we’re really all about providing people opportunity for connections."

The first kiosk for bus riders was unveiled Wednesday at VIA’s Centro Plaza transit center. Bibliotech will install the kiosks with ADA-compliant computer screens at five more transit center locations across the city.

Bibliotech opened with its main location on Pleasanton Road in 2013 with the goal of bringing library services to an underserved population.

Today the all-digital libraries serve thousands of patrons who live in Bexar County through kiosks at the Bexar County courthouse complex, including the Central Jury Room, public housing communities, public school libraries, three Joint Base San Antonio military installations and the Center for the Intrepid at Fort Sam Houston, as well as military members around the world.

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.