Trinity College Deploys BookScan Station

Milpitas, CA, December 2010 – iVina, Inc., is pleased to announce that Trinity College, an urban liberal arts college founded in 1823, in Hartford, Connecticut, has successfully deployed the BookScan Station in its library, with over 20,000 pages scanned by patrons and staff during the last year. Trinity College’s library is one of New England’s largest, with nearly 1 million books, 13,000 periodicals and a special collection of unique primary source materials, including a first American edition of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species”, published in 1860.

“Initially, one of the things I really liked was the beveled edge to protect the spine of the book,” said Lori Stethers, Systems Librarian at Trinity’s Raether Library and Information Technology Center. “For us as librarians, that was a nice feature that none of our other scanners have. The other thing I liked was the ease of use. You don’t need any training. You can just walk up to it and scan.”

Trinity College was among the earliest institutions of higher learning in the United States and only the second in the state after Yale. Open to the public as well as to Trinity’s students, faculty and staff, the library is a very busy place. Shortly after the first BookScan Station was installed, Stethers soon noticed that people were waiting in line to use it, even when other scanners were available. In July 2010, Stethers purchased a second unit, which was set up right next to the first one in the library’s 24-hour zone. “The second unit has an automatic document feeder that can handle a stack of up to 50 pages, which it feeds and scans at up to 45 pages per minute automatically for faster service”, said Chris Zing, president and CEO of iVina, Inc., manufacturer of the BookScan Station.

“We have other scanners in the building,” Stethers said. “They are traditional scanners attached to PCs, but people are not interested in them. They want the simplicity of the touch screen and not having to know how to use whatever software is used to scan. They like being able to just touch a couple buttons on the touchscreen and it scans.” In fact, she admits, she uses the BookScan Station herself, even though the other scanners are closer to her desk. “It’s just newer, easier and faster,” she said. “I think the fact that it’s so fast and so easy is what’s driving people to it,” she said. “It feels more modern to them than the older scanners. And they really like that they can e-mail to themselves and not have to carry paper out.”

Based on the BookScan Station logs maintained by the library, the two units combined have already scanned nearly 20,000 pages, mostly to black and white PDF files, distantly followed by color PDF, JPEG and Word files. Library staff reports that the most commonly scanned materials are portions of books – including textbook pages by students who don’t want to carry the whole book to class – reserve materials, and articles from bound periodicals. But patrons are also scanning documents, personal files, photos, business files, resumes, research materials, and more. The BookScan Stations at Trinity are not connected to a printer, so most patrons choose to send scans to their e-mail – five times more than scan to a USB drive. As a result, the BookScan Stations enable users to ‘go paper-free’ by saving their scans to a USB drive or e-mailing it to themselves in a digital format such as a PDF, searchable PDF, Word, or image file.

After seeing first-hand how her community has embraced BookScan Station, Stethers has recommended the technology to other librarians and college administrators. “When I tell people how much use it sees at our school, they are surprised and impressed by that,” she said. “Every school has some kind of scanner and they are surprised at how much more people like to use the BookScan Station. Before we got the first unit, we thought it would get used, but we had no idea it would be this heavily used – or that we’d be buying another one a few months later.”

It’s not surprising, then, that Trinity College’s library was the first in Connecticut to install the BookScan Station in November 2009. This innovative library scanning solution pairs a flatbed scanner with a simple touch-screen computer interface to make copying library materials simpler, more flexible, and greener. A patented beveled edge on the scanning bed means the page being copied can lie flat on the glass while the rest of the book hangs over. This not only protects the spine of the book from stress and damage; it also eliminates the black ‘gutter’ and distorted image created by trying to press a book flat on a traditional copier or scanner. Built-in optical character recognition technology means that the scanned documents can be searched and edited.

In the end, it was the easy-to-use touch-screen controls that quickly made the BookScan Station the most popular way to copy or scan materials at Trinity. The touch screen gives library patrons simple selections with step-by-step instructions, including a photo display of how to place a book on the scanner bed. Without knowing anything about scanning technology, the user can follow the touch-screen prompts to select all or just part of the page; change the resolution; scan in color, black and white, or grayscale; choose a file format; and decide whether to save the scan to a USB device or e-mail it to themselves.

Still, she often sees patrons waiting to use the BookScan Stations. Stethers doubts that scanners will completely replace old-fashioned copy machines any time soon. “There are plenty of times when people do need a piece of paper if they want to annotate it or give it to someone else,” she said. However, she does see the BookScan Station reducing copier use, especially by visitors from outside the Trinity campus. One reason, of course, is that there is no charge to use the scanners, but the copiers cost 10 cents per page. Students can swipe their ID card to pay for copies, but visitors from Hartford must buy a copy card and put money on it before using the copier. That makes the BookScan Stations not only free, but more convenient.

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