TODAY   |  September 14, 2013

New all-digital library opens in Texas

For many avid readers, it's something of a dilemma whether to grab the physical copy of a book or dive into the digital version. In one Texas community, there's no need to choose -- it is one of the first public paperless libraries in the nation. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> a new library is opening this week in texas but one thing you won't find inside of it. books. not a single one. janet explains.

>> reporter: when you're given a website, take a look what could be the library of the future. san antonio 's bexar county they have titles and not a hard cover or paper back in sight.

>> it's more streamlined and i think more user-friendly.

>> reporter: what some call the library of the future. everything can be checked out as a digital download .

>> we grew up borrowing and our kids did too going to the library once a week. it's just the library of today.

>> reporter: called the bibliotech you don't have to come in. books can be downloaded at home. those that don't own a reader, 600 for loan and 200 preloaded tablets for children. the devices turn off if they are not returned. the transition from paper to pixels isn't without some growing pains. hundreds of titles not available from digital licensing from best sellers to old classics. yet this is a big money saver. it was built and stocked with ebooks for 2.5 million dlaers and a fraction of the cost of a traditional library .

>> we are paying more for ebooks than hard cover books but on the other side i'm not double stocking and never lose it and never wear out on me.

>> reporter: he is among those that miss holding a hardback and physically turning a page. in the digital domain , brousing books like this.

>> i don't think we will go digital but i think this is a portion of the future for libraries.

>> redefining what a library is without paper or print.

>> it's pretty exciting.