By Manuel Bautista-Macias
With a $2.2 million budget, Bibliotech was built on the South Side of San Antonio because of the need for libraries and computer facilities in the area.
“I don’t think that we’re going to ever replace print libraries; we’re never going be able to have rare book collection in the same way…How I see it, is print and digital being side by side and filling in the gaps,” Bibliotech head librarian Ashley Eklof said.
Bibliotech has about 20,000 book titles for e-books and 800 e-reader’s, 200 of which are more interactive for children under 12 years old.
About 10 laptops and 50 iPads are available; some of the iPads are available for disabled and visualy impaired patrons.
The database does not have a scheduled update, but it does update on a frequent basis when new book releases are made or when particular titles grow in request.
Borrower privileges at Bibliotech can be completed online at bexarbibliotech.org or in person at 3505 Pleasanton Road.
To register, patrons need to be a county resident and show proof of residency by providing a utility bill and Texas ID.
Visitors to the facility vary in age, but most dominant are children and the elderly.
Children under the age of 10 years old need to be accompanied by an adult.
Ages 10-16 don’t need to be accompanied by an adult, but a parent’s signature is needed when registering.
“I would like to get more college students in,” Eklof said.
Bibliotech allows five e-books to be checked out at a time per patron for 14 days and also lends out e-readers to take home for 14 days.
Patrons checking out e-readers need to provide a Texas ID and be over the age of 16.
Bibliotech will not supply chargers, but the device will last the two-week checkout period and patrons will need to visit the facilities to renew e-books.
E-readers have a late fee of $1 a day. After 14 days, the device will be marked as lost and a charge of $150 will be billed.
Late book fees are not a problem for patrons because the book cannot be accessed after the due date.
E-books can be renewed online if the patron uses their own device, saving time for patrons.
Devices in the library like computers, iPads and laptops are used in sessions from one to two hours.
Session times can be managed whether dividing them during the day or running the two hours straight.
Extra time can be added when notified in advance if patrons are working on job applications, projects or schoolwork.
“This is something great to promote to the students,” Eklof said.
Students can bring laptops to access the free Wi-Fi and also print.
The facility is equipped with two study rooms for groups of two to eight with two-hour sessions as well.
Reservation of equipment and rooms can be made online or in person on a first-come, first-served basis.
Printing black and white cost 15 cents and 30 cents for color. Scanning and faxing is free.
Introductory sessions are 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Sundays, providing more information on what Bibliotech has to offer.
Bibliotech also offers tutoring classes with schoolwork and classes for technology beginners.
The beginner technology classes are 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays. Classes are also provided for senior citizens and in Spanish.
Bibliotech assists in enrolling in the Affordable Care Act and tax assistance. Enrollment sessions will be all day Saturday and Monday.
The hours of operation are noon-8 p.m. Monday Friday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call Bibliotech at 210-631-0180.