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Bexar County dedicates Westside Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech

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UTSA President Ricardo Romo, County Commissioner Paul Elizondo, state Sen. Jose Menendez, County Judge Nelson Wolff and U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro dedicate the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech

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(July 25, 2015) – The Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech is open for business.

County Judge Nelson Wolff, the Honorable Julián Castro and other dignitaries cut the ribbon Saturday on the newest branch of Bexar County's ground-breaking digital library system, named in honor of UTSA President Ricardo Romo.

The Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech, located in the Gardens of San Juan Square, will provide e-readers, digital material and other educational services to residents of San Antonio's West Side.

"I'm very honored to accept this recognition on behalf of the staff and individuals who have created this innovative system for learning," said Romo, who grew up nearby and worked at the Horace Mann Middle School library as a teenager. "Reading is extremely important, and the more people we can touch and inspire, the better."

The new Bibliotech is the second full branch of Bexar County's digital public library system. The first BiblioTech opened in the fall of 2013 at 3505 Pleasanton Rd. It was the first bookless, all-digital public library in the United States, lending e-readers and digital content rather than physical publications.

Onsite patrons access online databases and educational resources with the library's iMacs, iPads, Xbox 360s and Microsoft Surface touch-screen video tablets. The library has almost 68,000 registered patrons and has served nearly 200,000 walk-in visitors.

The Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech will offer the same technology, along with a group study room and a children's area. The facility is located in the Gardens of San Juan Square, whose residents have limited access to computers or digital material. San Juan Square is operated by the San Antonio Housing Authority, which makes the new bookless library the first housing authority in the nation to have a digital library on one of its properties.

The Bexar County bookless library system is modeled after the UTSA Applied Engineering and Technology (AET) Library, the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It opened in March 2010.

Bexar County plans to open a third BiblioTech on the East Side in the Wheatley Heights housing project next year.

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For more on Bexar County's BibloTech libraries, visit http://bexarbibliotech.org/.

Find out more about UTSA's AET Library at http://libguides.utsa.edu/AETLibrary.

Connect with President Ricardo Romo on Facebook.

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