BiblioTech - First All Digital Public Library in the Nation

BiblioTech Website

BiblioTech Website

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Informational Map of BiblioTech Press Coverage and International Visitors
Map of Visitors to and Media Coverage about BiblioTech

Dr. Ricardo Romo
Dr. Ricardo Romo

UTSA President

"I'm very honored to accept this recognition on behalf of the staff and individuals who have created this innovative system for learning," said Dr. Ricardo 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."

Dr. Ricardo Romo is the fifth president of The University of Texas at San Antonio. A San Antonio native who grew up on the city's westside, Romo graduated from Fox Tech High School before attending the University of Texas at Austin on a track scholarship. At UT Austin, he was the first Texan to run the mile in less than four minutes, a record that lasted 41 years. He earned a bachelor's degree in education from UT Austin, a master's degree in history from Loyola Marymount University, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Click here for NEW BiblioTech book written by Judge Wolff

Bexar BiblioTech: The Evolution of the Country's First All-Digital Public Library

"In this small, compact book I take you on a 20-year journey from my involvement in the building of a 240,000-square-foot public central library that opened in 1995 to the creation of a 4,000-square-foot digital public library in 2013 and its aftermath. It is a fast paced journey, much like the speed of the mobile digital revolution. In its wake, BiblioTech would become the nation’s first all-digital public library, opening in September of 2013." — From the Forward of Bexar BiblioTech by Nelson W. Wolff

The e-book can be purchased through Amazon here.

All proceeds benefit the Hidalgo Foundation of Bexar County. If you do not have an Amazon Kindle, you can download the free Kindle app on most devices.

The Hidalgo Foundation — in collaboration with the Bexar County Commissioners Court — has created the first ever county-wide library system that is entirely bookless and electronic. The name of the public library is BiblioTech — a play on the Spanish word for library — biblioteca. Through BiblioTech, the community has access to more than 40,000 current titles and classics free of charge. For those whose access to technology is limited, an e-reader can be checked out at BiblioTech branches. E-reader owners can access BiblioTech’s library collection remotely with a virtual library card.

Success Metrics

Since opening, BiblioTech has participated in 1,088 community events, reached 75,840 community members and registered over 36,771 patrons through community outreach efforts.

  • Over 1,026,847 on-site visitors
  • 954,354 e-books circulated
  • 44,213 e-readers circulated
  • Over 160,000 e-books in BiblioTech collection
  • 1,973,424 website visits
  • 4,175 hotspots circulated
  • 167,028 registered patrons
  • BiblioTech EDU: 58 schools in 14 school districts resulting in 25,000 student registrations

Metrics as of January 2020

Heat map showing the density of BiblioTech Patrons across Bexar County

Points of Interest

  • BiblioTech focuses programming to support STEM/STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, art and math) education, which encourages students in creative problem solving. Our offerings include classes associated with Open Cloud Academy and other educational opportunities that prepare young people for college or the workforce.
  • Current programming includes Robotics, Introduction to Coding, Music Theory using digital technology, Tiny Techolotes Story Time, GED testing, Network+ Certification, and Open Cloud Academy.
  • Implemented reading program at Bexar County’s Juvenile Detention Center, both Juvenile and Adult Probation Programs, and MATCH; a program dedicated to helping incarcerated mothers become better parents.
  • Computer stations for the visually-impaired allowing access to all the e-books in the collection.
  • Integrated BiblioTech resources at the Warrior and Family Support Center at Fort Sam Houston and the military base libraries at Randolph AFB, Fort Sam Houston, and Lackland AFB.
  • Established BiblioTech kiosks at the University Health System hospital to bring resources to hospital users.
  • Partnered with VIA to bring resources to the traveling public with the “Ride and Read” program; fitted various VIA transit centers throughout the county with BiblioTech kiosks.
  • Established a satellite BiblioTech location in the Central Jury Room at the Historic Bexar County Courthouse.


BiblioTech serves as a public source of computing equipment, electronic devices, study spaces and meeting rooms in an internet café type setting. At BiblioTech, patrons are able to:

  • Read an e-book
  • Use a desktop, laptop, or tablet computer
  • Learn a new computer program
  • Explore the internet
  • Listen to an audio book, watch a video, or learn a foreign language
  • Work on a school project or resume
  • Attend lectures and workshops
  • Bring their children who can learn through play on the "Little Tykes Kid Smart Computers" and interactive tables equipped with educational software

Locations and Partnership with the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA)

BiblioTech’s inaugural library branch opened in September 2013 in a low income neighborhood of the southside of Bexar County at 3505 Pleasanton Road. A second library branch opened in July 2015 in the San Antonio Housing Authority’s (SAHA) Gardens at San Juan Square housing project in West Bexar County at 2003 S. Zarzamora. BiblioTech West, named after the former UTSA President, Dr. Ricardo Romo, occupies 2,400 square feet of commercial space and is divided up into different areas such as a reading room, children’s area, study room, and lounge.

BiblioTech East opened in the Fall of 2017 at 1203 North Walters Road in an Eastside Promise Neighborhood. As with BiblioTech West, BiblioTech East is co-located in another SAHA housing development: Wheatley Courts. Wheatley Courts has been designated as the beneficiary of a Choice Neighborhoods Planning grant and is located just five blocks away from Wheatley Middle School. BiblioTech East includes 4,200 square feet of retail space and features a digital reading room, children’s area, study rooms, community room, and a “Maker Space” where technology learning comes to life.

The BiblioTech partnership with the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) is particularly noteworthy. SAHA is the only housing authority in the nation to receive both Choice Neighborhood planning and implementation grants and was a key partner in the city’s Eastside Promise Neighborhood grant. The Dr. Ricard Romo BiblioTech and BiblioTech East are both co-located in the SAHA public housing projects. Through this collaboration, SAHA leases space to BiblioTech for nearly free and BiblioTech in turn provides the residents access to the internet, community, technology, and programming.

In addition to these three library branches, BiblioTech has a satellite library in the Central Jury Room at the Bexar County Courthouse as well as a presence at the Warrior and Family Support Center at Fort Sam Houston and at the three Joint Base San Antonio military libraries (Randolph, Fort Sam Houston, and Lackland). BiblioTech has a presence in 58 different middle and high schools in 14 local Independent School Districts (ISDs) through its donated e-reader program to local school libraries.

BiblioTech Pleasanton BiblioTech Children's Room Pleasanton BiblioTech Circulation Desk Pleasanton BiblioTech Interior Pleasanton BiblioTech Dr. Ricardo Romo Branch Celebration Dr. Ricardo Romor Branch Interior

BiblioTech Donors

  • 80/20 Foundation
  • Betty Bueche
  • DOCUmation
  • H-E-B
  • Henry R. Muñoz III/Muñoz & Company
  • HNTB Engineering
  • Joeris General Contractors
  • Law Offices of Pat Maloney, P.C.
  • Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP
  • Meadows Foundation
  • NuStar Energy
  • Pape-Dawson Engineers, Inc.
  • Raba Kistner, Inc.
  • Spurs Sports & Entertainment
  • The Charles Butt Foundation
  • The Greehey Family Foundation
  • The Harvey E. Najim Family Foundation
  • THe Kronkosky Charitable Foundation
  • The Leo Quintanilla Family
  • The USAA Foundation
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc.
  • Union Pacific Foundation
  • V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation
  • Valero
  • Zachry Corporation