BiblioTech is the new Bexar County digital library. My kids and I gave it a try last week, and we recommend that you have a look, too. Here are our suggestions about how to use it.
First, I went online to start the registration process. Then, my kids and I drove to the physical library, in a Bexar County office building at 3505 Pleasanton Road, San Antonio, Texas 78221 (map), where I presented my driver’s license as proof of residence and got a BiblioTech library card.
The facility has a coffee shop, a circulation/help desk, a computer lab, several meeting rooms, and—most important for us—a children’s room. My kids enjoyed playing Kaplan games on the table-sized Microsoft Surface tablets: a color mixing bubble game, a counting game, an ABC matching game, etc. There’s also a gaming console with bean bag chairs and a low table with tethered iPads. A friendly staff member helped my son get a game started on the Xbox and showed my daughter how to divide and smash the color bubbles.
I used one of the iPads to experiment with 3M Cloud Library (for Apple, Android, and more), an ebook lending app. So, rather than buying an ebook through one of the usual online stores, I browsed through the catalog of free ebooks available through Bexar County BiblioTech.
My kids had so much fun in the children’s room that it was hard to get them back to the car. After they went to bed, I installed the 3M Cloud Library app on my phone, logged in using my BiblioTech library card number, and selected a free ebook for download. (If the title you want is already checked out, you can ask to get it when it’s available.) I have 14 days to read it. The 3M Cloud Library catalog includes children’s books, which I am looking forward to sharing with my kids, and books in Spanish. I will probably continue to buy physical copies non-fiction books, but I predict that the 3M Cloud Library through Bexar BiblioTech will be a great resource for pleasure reading.
The BiblioTech has more resources, including additional ebook catalogs and an inventory of ebook readers to lend to Bexar County residents. The facility also features augmented reality, focused on mascot Techolote the Owl—another aspect to explore.
Have you tried BiblioTech yet? Please leave a comment and share your experience.
Read more about Bexar BiblioTech:
- “Library visits enter future at BiblioTech”, Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, September 14, 2013.
- “Guide to first all-digital public library: Bexar BiblioTech”, John W. Gonzalez, San Antonio Express-News, September 6, 2013.
- “Bexar BiblioTech increases access“, San Antonio Express-News, September 11, 2013.
- “Bexar County Bibliotech Goes Live This Weekend”, Eileen Pace, Texas Public Radio, September 12, 2013.
- “Bibliotech opens Saturday-Bexar County Digital Library”, WOAI-TV, September 10, 2013.
- “Bookless Public Library Opens In Texas”, Bill Chappell, Two-Way blog (NPR), September 14, 2013.
- “Texas’ Bookless Library: BiblioTech Turns the Page on Tradition”, Elaine Pittman, Government Technology, September 16, 2013.