America’s first all-digital library just opened this past weekend in Texas. Instead of the traditional ribbon-cutting approach, officials attending the opening ceremony on Saturday pushed a button with the power on/off symbol and fired off a few confetti cannons to mark the big event. The Bexar County BiblioTech library will offer 10,000 free e-books to the county’s 1.7 million residents as well as the opportunity to read them on 600 e-readers and 48 computer stations in the building.
The technology behind the new library is based on a simple application connected to the user’s library card. In order to read a book on their own device, users must have the 3M Cloud Library app, which counts down the days you’re allowed access to the book.
If going to the library is a ritual you’d like to keep practicing, the library building can offer you a spot at one of 600 e-readers and 48 computer stations. The space of the library resembles an Apple store –its design is minimalist and dominated by sleek-looking devices. It is also possible to physically visit the library for kids’ story time and computer classes.