A bookless library for Sri Lanka?


We all know that the paperback warriors still survive out there. Battling in rage (probably) for the banishing of eBooks. I’m not the reader I once was, getting through a few books every month, however I try to read whenever possible and today, it comes down to one thing: mobility.

Also read Kindle Vs. Print Books

For example, these days I take pleasure in indulging in a Game of Thrones marathon. The books that is. They are an easy read but of colossal size. The paperbacks alone take up most of my bookshelf space. The eBook on the other hand, is very handbag friendly I must admit. Best thing is if you own a Kindle or an iPad or even the Kindle app on your phone, none of this ever matters. If there are readers who wait for the lunchroom / dining room to clear so they could sneak in with a book, page turning is a breeze!

Which is why, some of us pro-eBook readers support initiatives such as this.

The public library in Bexar County, Texas has been digitised. So much so to the extent that this includes not only rows and rows of droolable iMacs in the library, but also the lending of eReaders topped with five books.


The library called BiblioTech, is run by a once-traditional librarian who marvels at the ease and convenience of the digitised library. In the article, she agrees with some of our own fears when borrowing books: torn pages, unkempt books and the worst of it, the constant requirement for bookshelves to accommodate the paperback copies.


Replicate in Sri Lanka, Maybe?

My first choice of answer would be no and this is driven by two irrational fears:

a)     The non-acceptance (of the majority) of eBooks

b)     The devices!

A lot of people I know are yet to embrace the joy of eBooks. While it is only natural that books, have a certain ‘feeling’ associated to it and some even consider it heartless to disown it all together, the world only continues to get more crowded and if we are to work towards the storage facilities shown in 2012, this is an ideal start.


Furthermore, the dissemination of information becomes faster with eBooks and anything that is read off a screen. You could always email them a copy of the document as opposed to giving them a copy of the book, you are sure they wouldn’t return.

Now, with regard to the devices. Somehow, I don’t see this taking place successfully. Would this mean that (probable) digital libraries should ‘trust’ the avid-readers with their devices and perhaps formulate a relationship based on that or not lend the devices out at all?

Perhaps, a start, if the option was ever considered, would be to have an e-reading facility within the public libraries (I haven’t visited one recently!) with the adequate technology and not PCs running on XP or something and maybe blend both paperback and digital reads and eventually, if at all, make the gradual transition to a digital library based on its receptiveness.

True libraries and books are renowned for their pungent, rusty smell of Joycean pages, however, this is a greener option and I’m all game for it. 



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