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eBooks in Texas

Moving forward and accepting change only comes about with the changing of the culture of the persons you want to move forward. And this is exactly what one public library in San Antonio, Texas is looking to do.

When the shiny, new public library opens its doors this fall, bookworms will notice one very important thing missing, actual books. Instead, the facility will be serving up eBooks and with over 10,000 digital copies or so I know there won’t be a shortage.

To help users partake of its content, BiblioTech will also carry actual e-readers for users to check out, and this does seem like a huge leap in regards to blind faith in honesty and humanity but I guess it’s a leap the folks over at BibiloTech are willing to take.

Footage of the media event shows what appears to be a Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch as the facility’s e-reader of choice. Checked-out eBooks are also programmed to be accessible by the borrower for a two-week period. I am not 100 per cent sure if one gets the charging cable with it or not but it’s really an interesting idea.

Going the digital route has certainly been a growing trend — 3M recently launched a Cloud Library lending service while one Austrian town kicked off its own unique e-book repository based on stickers equipped with QR codes and NFC chips.

Now the change in culture here is twofold — not only will there be a library with minimal hardcopy books, but also the concept of what is acceptable or most commonly used in the eBook format. When most of us think eBook we tend to think novel, or story book, but with Apple last year opening its iBooks platform to makers of textbooks, and with Barnes & Noble who without a shadow of a doubt is the top dog when it comes to online purchasing of textbooks and out-of-print books also joining the e-reader fray, eBooks have quickly transformed from 90 per cent novels and 10 per cent text or information books, to an almost 60/40 ratio with text and information books continuing to rise in popularity.

Maybe someday here with another EduTech type programme, we too will see not just the replacement of books in the libraries, but texts books given to school children from a certain age. Imagine you, at the beginning of your secondary school life, being issued an e-reader which you will take with you throughout your secondary years and your text book being placed on this e-reader.

This will eliminate heavy pack backs, situations where some students either destroy books or they become obsolete with new versions. It would also eliminate some students actually not even receiving a particular textbook, and would greatly reduce the cost of buying new books.

I can see little to no bad coming from this, but again it can only be achieved with a change in culture in the way we think. Barbados is moving forward and digital footprint of our little island is changing and growing every day, maybe someday it will reach that stage.

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