Ghosts in the library

bookless

That’s an artist’s rendering of what promises to be the first bookless public library in the country. Slated to open later this year in Bexar County in Texas, it’s the brainchild of a county judge and book collector named Nelson Wolff, who says he had a vision of an all-digital library while reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. The building is being designed to resemble an Apple Store, aseptic and brightly lit, with long ranks of iMacs and an info-barista manning the reference desk-cum-genius bar. The patrons, as the artist’s rendering indicates, will be wraiths.

10 Comments

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10 Responses to Ghosts in the library

  1. Kelly Roberts

    Where’s the food court?

  2. No place for a quickie between the stacks in some far corner, either.

  3. Nick

    Wraiths don’t experience such base impulses.

  4. Daniel Cole

    So how the hell do you actually take a book home?

  5. Cindy Wolff

    From the drawing it looks like the librarians will be wraiths as well.

  6. Cindy Wolff

    I’m sure the idea is to pay librarians like the genius bar people, about $10/hr and no benefits.

  7. i’d like to see wall-lenth e-ink screens in this library where you can tap on the book’s spine, and it will show the cover. Tap on the cover and it will open the book for browsing. After browsing the book on the e-ink wall screen, you can tap a button to add it to your ereader device. The book will then either disappear from the shelf or appear grayed out.

  8. Gary D

    To me, the real question is, why?

    Isn’t the building superfluous? If you do not have the physical books, why have the building? You should be able to download the books from your home or Starbucks. From the rendering, the wraiths do not have a place to gather. Even if they did have, why would they want to make the journey there, when a Starbucks would do.