About City College of New York
The City College of New York (CCNY) is the oldest college of The City University of New York’s 23 institutions of higher learning. Founded in downtown Manhattan as The Free Academy in 1847 “for the children of the whole people,” it was the first free public institution of higher education in the United States. At the turn of the century, the school moved to its current 35-acre campus, which stretches from 130th Street to 141st Street on a hill overlooking Harlem. Architect George B. Post was commissioned to design the college’s five original buildings, which now form the core of the City College campus. Made of schist, a dark stone native to Manhattan, with white terra cotta trim, they are considered one of the finest examples of neo-Gothic architecture in the United States.
Today, with more than 90 languages spoken on campus, CCNY is one of the most diverse colleges in the United States. City College provides nearly 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities to achieve academically, creatively, and professionally in the liberal arts and sciences and in professional fields such as engineering, education, architecture, and biomedical education.
CCNY has eight libraries: The Morris Raphael Cohen Library, the main library housing the social science and education materials, the reference division, government documents, and the archives and special collections; the Art and Architecture library; the Art Visual Resources Library; the Architecture Visual Resources library; the Music Library; the Science and Engineering Library; the Dominican Institute Library: and the Center for Worker Education Library. Together, they boast a collection of 1.54 million volumes and 138,000 e-books.
Why BookScan Station?
The busy CCNY library system had a constant demand from students wanting to scan materials, but had been unable to find a satisfactory solution. “We had scanning sort of intermittently, but it was constantly breaking down,” said Pam Gillespie, Associate Dean and Chief Librarian of City College of New York Libraries. “Also, we had to put the scanner on a workstation, which was constantly occupied” by students using the computer for other uses.
So, two years ago, Gillespie turned to the library’s photocopier vendor – CCP Solutions of Brooklyn – for help. They introduced her to the iVina BookScan Station, for which they are the exclusive dealer in the Northeast Region.
“One of things that attracted me was the fact that it could be a stand-alone scanning station,” she said. She also liked the fact that BookScan Station could be customized for her busy library, allowing users to quickly scan materials and save them to a flash drive – disabling the e-mail and print options – so the units wouldn’t be monopolized by students the way the old scanner-computer combination was. “The ability to scan to flash drive was a biggie,” said Gillespie. “It’s just so much easier, and allowed us to keep it off our network. Plus we sell the flash drives, so they’re always available to students.”
More Scans; Less Waste
CCNY installed two BookScan Stations – one in the Cohen Library and one in the Science and Engineering library – and it wasn’t long before students flocked to use the machines. “We have a blog that serves as main library webpage and we have a Facebook page,” said Gillespie. “We just threw it up that we had a scanner and that’s all it took.”
Two years later, it’s not uncommon to see students lined up to use the BookScan Stations, especially during finals, said John Carrero, CCNY’s Library Systems Manager. And even with such heavy use, he’s heard no complaints. “They are very user friendly,” he said. “Students just scan and go.”
One reason for the BookScan Station’s popularity may be that it is free. “I would never charge for scanning, because it doesn’t use consumables,” said Gillespie.
And the scanner is helping the library use fewer consumables in other areas, as students scan more and use photocopiers and printers less. “Paper is cheap, but your costs are in toner, so anything that can cut down on that, I’m for,” said Gillespie. “Actually, though, the way we’re really seeing savings is in less garbage because of the accidental printing that used to occur. Students would send a print job accidentally, or they would only want one page, but print all 37. Then they’d come and complain that they ‘didn’t mean to’ and want a refund. I don’t think so.”
Now, students are more likely to scan their materials and take them home to work with them before printing. They don’t have to use the photocopiers, and many of them end up printing at home, where they use their own ink and paper, she said.
The BookScan Station has been such a success that Gillespie has just ordered two more, which will soon be deployed in the Music Library and the Art and Architecture Library.
“They seem to be trouble free and they keep working, and that’s good,” said Gillespie. “The least amount of human intervention on the part of our techs is preferable.”
While the BookScan Station’s patented beveled book edge and oversized scanner bed have other libraries using it to digitize archives, Gillespie says CCNY libraries probably won’t be using it for in-house projects.
“We have our own scanners for that,” she said. “Besides, you’d never be able to get to these stations. The students would beat you to death.” As heavily as the scanners are used now, students simply wouldn’t want it tied up by anyone – even librarians – working on a large project.
“We have recommended (BookScan Station) to other libraries, and people have come to see them before investing in them. We don’t have to tell them anything. They just have to watch what happens. It’s scan and go.”
Associate Dean and Chief Librarian
City College of New York Libraries