Monday, January 14, 2013

Bookless public library to open in Texas

A county in Texas is opening the first bookless public library.
           I think this is kind of a ridiculous idea.  Can it really be called a library if there are no books?  Sure it will have digital books, but you can get those anywhere.  You can tell that it isn't a librarian that thought up this idea. The person who thought up the idea probably thinks that libraries are obsolete and is trying too hard to make them remain relevant.  Librarians and the millions of patrons who visit libraries know that libraries are not obsolete.  As many commenters point out, why is there a need for a special building reserved just for computers?  The article does not say if they plan on loaning out e-readers, but that is one of the only ways I could see that this "library" would actually work out.  If there are no e-readers, it is essentially a glorified internet cafe.  Sure, people who do own e-readers could go and use the computers to download ebooks, but they could also do that at home.  Though I do own a few e-readers and use them quite often, I still prefer real books, and would probably never go to an all digital library.  There is just something about wandering through the aisles of books and picking up whatever catches your eye.  You can't really do that with e-books.  Also, an all digital library would probably be more expensive in the long run that a regular library.  When you buy a hard copy of a book, it can be lent out multiple times, but with an ebook it is different.  Depending on the publisher, an ebook can only be lent a handful of times before the library has to purchase another one.  I think there is a reason why projects like this in the past have failed to even open.

What do you think about this?  Would you visit an all digital library?

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