In Bexar County, Texas, Judge Nelson Wolff has "embarked on a mission to create a countywide library system," MySanAntonio.com reports, and from the start, he decided it should be bookless.
After months of planning, Wolff and other county leaders announced on Jan. 11, 2013, plans to "launch the nation's first bookless public library system," called BiblioTech. A prototype location on the South Side will open in the fall.
“If you want to get an idea what it looks like, go into an Apple store,” said Wolff, who was inspired while reading Apple founder Steve Jobs' biography, and also noted that the bookless library is not a replacement for the city library system -- it's an enhancement.
“People are always going to want books, but we won't be doing that in ours,” he said.
When it comes to other bookless libraries around the country, none seem to exist, though San Antonio is considering a one for the far North Side. In 2011, Newport Beach, Calif., decided to make its original library bookless, but withdrew the plans. And in 2002, Arizona's Tucson-Pima Public Library System opened a small bookless branch, but added books at the community's request about five years ago, according to MySanAntonio.com.
One of the nation's first bookless academic libraries opened at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2010, and has been received positively.
The main image is an artist’s conception of what the interior of the BiblioTech could look like. Courtesy of MySanAntonio.com