Books, who needs 'em? Libraries? Not anymore they don't. The first public, bookless library is coming to San Antonio over in the States soon and, possibly, to a (dystopic?) future near you.
The new book-free library, called "BiblioTech," is intended to open in the fall and is part of a an entire bookless public library system planned for the entire county of Bexar. And it's not "bring your own device" either. The library will actually lend out e-readers (of an unspecified brand) for two weeks at a time. There will also be computers and the like, but no books, and presumably no card catalogue (!) either.
Academic libraries have been experimenting with booklessness for a while now, but San Antonio is the first to charge towards that goal with a brand new system of libraries that are going to be bookless from the start. Judge Nelson Wolff, the man behind the plan, is optimistic, despite the possible problems with theft, telling San Antonio Express:
We do have your name, we do have your address. You check it out for two weeks, just like a library book. In two weeks, your e-book goes dead, so you won't have anything worth keeping.
It's definitely a rather bizarre step into what may very well be the future. Wish them the best of luck. Or complete and utter failure, depending on how you feel about books, I guess. [San Antonio Express via DVICE]