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Texas Library to Offer Only E-Books
January 14, 2013

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Readers in a Texas county will have to borrow electronic books from this fall, when the library rids its shelves of printed books completely.

Judge Nelson Wolff in Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, is overseeing the conversion to e-books at the county public library. Wolff, who owns 1,000 first editions of printed books, says he sees the importance of having books printed on paper but also sees the need to embrace current and future technologies in helping students and their parents and grandparents enjoy reading, even if that activity no longer involves turning a physical page.

The nearly 5,000-square-foot space will be full of computer stations, laptops, tablets, and e-readers. Readers will be able to borrow e-readers for a period of time, as well as bring their own e-reading devices and download e-books.

Wolff is planning to offer 10,000 book titles to start with and to add steadily to the collection each year. The library will also offer an electronic area for children, with interactive tables and walls.

The announcement comes in the wake of yet another survey citing an increase in the number of readers of e-books. A 2012 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that nearly one-quarter of all Americans over age 16 reported reading electronic books and that the percentage of those who reported reading print books dropped from 72 percent to 67 percent.

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