When little Adriana Lee used to do research for a term paper, she’d sling a massive bookbag onto her back, hoof it over to the local library and spend hours eyeball-deep in dusty card catalogues, microfiches, books, notes and Xerox copies. I loathe to admit it, but these treks almost erupted into fistfights when other students had the audacity to pull the same titles I needed off the shelf.
It doesn’t get more primitive than that, but libraries are about to move lightspeed into the future now as Bexar County, TX, plans the country’s very first bookless public library. The BiblioTech project has been in the works for years now, and judging by its artist rendering, it should offer knowledge-seekers a slick environment that’s… kinda reminiscent of Apple’s retail stores, no? In fact, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff — the brains behind Bibliotech — says the inspiration for this all-digital library was sparked by Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography.
Just when you thought community research resources were heading to the obsolescence pile, in comes this techno-forward take to make the pursuit of knowledge super-sexy. And it’s not the only one: The plan covers a series of Bibliotech libraries to enhance its existing library system. This one, it’s first, is scheduled to open in the fall.
Addition: Regarding the library’s methodology, the system will be based on ebooks, completely foregoing printed books. Residents will also be able to borrow one of 100 e-readers to take home. However, like many traditional libraries, this very stylized location will have onsite personnel to assist users with research and even homework. (Thanks, @thattechkid!)