San Antonio’s Bookless Public Library Takes A Page Out Of Apple’s Playbook

(Credit: Eric Gay / Associated Press)

(Credit: Eric Gay / Associated Press)

Want to know what a library created by Apple might look like?

A public library in San Antonio, called BiblioTech, has become the U.S.’s first bookless public library — letting patrons check out five e-books at a time either on their home devices, or using the tablets or one of the 48 iMac computers featured in the Apple Store-inspired library.

Founder Nelson Wolff, a former mayor of San Antonio, claims he was inspired after reading Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of Steve Jobs, and the speed at which the late Apple co-founder was able to introduce new products.

Within a year, Wolff (who is in his seventies) managed to launch the library in poor part of San Antonio with limited Internet service. Initially there were 10,000 e-books available — which has since increased to 20,000.

Wolff says that he hopes to bolster the collection with an addition 10,000 e-books every month.


About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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