Book Mountain: A stunning glass-enclosed library

MVRDV, a Rotterdam-based company,  has just completed the ‘book mountain + library quarter’ centrally located in the market square of Spijkenisse, the Netherlands. It houses a mountain of bookshelves and is contained by a glass-enclosed structure and pyramidal roof with an impressive total surface area of 9,300 square meters. Corridors and platforms bordering the form are accessed by a network of stairs to allow visitors to browse the tiers of shelves. A continuous route of 480 meters culminates at the peak’s reading room and cafe with panoramic views through the transparent roof. Any possible damage caused to the books by direct sunlight is offset by the expected 4 year lifespan of borrowed materials. (Photos)


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Abandoned Walmart in Texas becomes largest library in the U.S.

An abandoned Walmart becomes a library.

Thousands of big box stores sit abandoned and empty all over America, including hundreds of former Walmart stores. Each store takes up enough space of 2.5 football fields.  More that 698 million square feet of in the U.S. is used by Walmart’s and is one of the biggest environmental impacts. But at least one of those buildings has been transformed into something arguably much more useful: the nation’s largest library. (Photos)



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Younger Americans are reading books and visiting libraries after all: Study

“Younger Americans’ reading habits and library use are still anchored by the printed page.”

Younger Americans no longer visit public libraries and have all but abandoned paper books in favor of digital media has been the stereotype for a while. But in reality, young Americans are actually more likely than older Americans to have read a printed book in the past year and are more likely than their elders to use a library.



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San Antonio will launch first digital-only library in the U.S.

A rendering of BiblioTech, a public library offering only electronic books that is scheduled to open in San Antonio.

The first fully digital public library in the U.S. will open in San Antonio, Texas this year.  This library will not contain a single book. The facility in Bexar county is part of a planned state-wide bookless system called BiblioTech, is modeled on an Apple store rather than a traditional library, but it will retain all the important features: more than 100 e-readers available to borrow, with more than 10,000 ebooks – and visitors can bring their own devices, too.



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First bookless library to open in San Antonio

The inside of the BiblioTech will be influenced by Apple Retail Stores.

In Bexar County, Texas a new library will open that will provide visitors with a bank of e-Readers for borrowing e-books … but books of the traditional paper variety will be glaringly absent. he project marks the first public library to be built as an all-digital service and just to make sure library-goers are in no doubt that it’s the 21st century, the interior will feature a design influenced by Apple retail stores.




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The library becoming more popular than ever, but books no longer the primary focus

The New York Public Library recently embarked on a controversial plan to move two to three million books off-site.

The New York Public Library (NYPL) retired its pneumatic-tube system sometime last year. It had been used to request books for more than a century. The New York Public Library opened in 1911 and that pneumatic call system had changed little since then. You still filled out a slip, and you still turned that slip over to a clerk, who would load it into a metal cartridge. The cartridge would be driven by air pressure to a station down in the stacks, where another clerk would retrieve your book, which was then sent back up to the call desk by a dumbwaiter. In recent years, this procedure would take about 20 minutes. In decades past, I’m told, it was closer to five.



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Top 10 changes we can expect from the library of the future


Libraries have acted as community cornerstones for millennia.

Every April marks School Library Month.  Libraries celebrate how they promote education and awareness in an open, nurturing space. What makes them such lasting institutions, though, isn’t the mere act of preserving books and promoting knowledge. Rather, it’s the almost uncanny ability to consistently adapt to the changing demands of the local populace and emerging technology alike. The library system probably won’t disappear anytime soon, but rather, see itself blossoming into something new and exciting in congruence with today’s myriad informational demands.

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Are you ready to ditch Netflix? Here are six alternatives to renting videos


More than 12,000 — mostly angry — comments have been posted on Netflix’s blog since it announced the new plan July 12.

Netflix recently announced that customers would have to pay extra for unlimited online video streaming starting September 1 and many subscribers are an unhappy  bunch.  Currently, Netflix members can get unlimited streaming and unlimited (mailed) DVDs for $9.99 a month but under the new plan announced, members will have to pay $15.98 a month to get both services ($7.99 for unlimited streaming and $7.99 for unlimited DVDs).


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Discover the Hidden Patterns of Tomorrow with Futurist Thomas Frey
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