Can a library go paperless?

The subject of ‘going paperless’ is one that is increasingly on the radar across the globe. Striving for paperless offices and supporting greener initiatives that see more effective use of paper and recycling activities is something that we continue to see in the news, as well as being on the agenda for many organisations.

It was recently announced that a public library without any printed books will be opening later this summer in Texas, in the United States. The opening will see the world’s first completely paperless public library and is an announcement that saw much public opinion and debate last month.

Although the library will be on a relatively small scale, with 100 e-readers (on loan) and screens which will allow for visitors to browse and learn, it is suggested that members of the BiblioTech library will be able to also access the digital books, from the comfort in their own home.

The introduction of this “digital library” (or iLibrary) will support people who cannot travel to a physical location. The project’s instigator, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, a fan himself of an original paper book, says: “But the world is changing and this is the best, most effective way to bring services to our community.”

The bookless or paperless library is also something that is key within academic institutions. For example, it was announced last year by London’s Imperial College, that over 98% of its journal collections were digital and that it had even stopped buying print textbooks!

To read more about this growing phenomenon, read this recent BBC article.

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