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We knew it would come this … eventually. Did we not? Honestly, I figured we had a good five years ahead of us before libraries began opening their doors with nary a physical book in sight. Shows what I know.

From Gizmodo this afternoon comes the half shocking, half predictable news that the Bexar County satellite office, which sits about seven miles south of the Alamo, will soon become one of the nation’s first bookless libraries.

A Bexar County judge by the name of Nelson Wolff is the self-described book lover who came up with the idea, which isn’t actually limited to just one building: Wolff has ambitions “to launch the nation’s first bookless public library system” that he’s calling BiblioTech, according to an article in the San Antonio Express-News. “If you want to get an idea what it looks like,” Wolff says in the article,” go into an Apple store.”

An artist’s rendering of the proposed BibioTech’s interior

The county says it will need a minimum of $250,000 to purchase its first 10,000 e-book titles, according to Wolff. And that doesn’t include any necessary architecture or construction fees. (Early estimates for the completion of the first library are coming in at around $1 million.) Assuming the first BiblioTech location actually opens, library patrons will have access to one of 100 e-readers, which they’ll be allowed to check out and take home for two weeks at a time.

And while there’s no word just yet about which specific e-reader make and model the BiblioTech system plans to stock, the Express-News article does mention that the devices retail for about $100. (And since we know how much public libraries love their B&N devices, that sounds like a Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight to me, but that’s just a guess.)

This coming Tuesday, January 15, Wolff plans to go before the Bexar County Commissioners Court, where he’ll request the ”[approval of] several measures to launch BiblioTech,” according to the Express-News.

 
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