On the site of a closed down Boarders bookstore a grand vision of the future is occurring. The first ever digital library in Omaha Nebraska will open their doors next fall. It will not only loan out eBooks, digital newspapers and magazines but also have 3D printers and workstations for artists and video game developers.
The former Boarders bookstore and acompanied parking lots at at 7201 Dodge St was purchased by the Community Information Trust, a private nonprofit. It will be gutted and wired for new technology. President of Heritage Services, an Omaha nonprofit that will renovate the building, says it won’t look like a bookstore when crews finish working on it.
Mike McCarthy, a board member of Omaha nonprofit Heritage Services, said “All Omahans will benefit from increased access to all the good things technology can provide — the opportunity to learn, to explore and to create. This space will welcome everyone from our children learning to read and our grandparents applying for Social Security, to the emerging creative class who will develop the tools and products of the future, to our next generation of entrepreneurs.”
I think the most exciting element of this new digital library is that it is free to residents of Douglas County, and available for fees — $75 annually or $25 for four months — to people who live outside Douglas County.
Omaha is not the first library to go purely digital and forgo carrying print books. Bexar County in San Antonio launched the BiblioTech library earlier this year. Patrons are able to access to over 10,000 eBooks and residents will be able checkout 600 E-readers, 9 laptops and 40 tablets to read them on.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.