Maybe not quite web 2.0 (are they interactive?) but definitely 21st century. With the campus-run copy center closing in our library and the lack of library resources to deal with the day-to-day running/maintenance/cost (paper jams/low toner/coin-ops/paper/staff & more), the leadership council decided to invest in scanners. These aren’t your over the counter scanners that you pick up at your local computer store, these are expensive, high quality, overhead scanners that – we hope – faculty and students will find much more useful.
The machines didn’t arrive as early as we’d hoped and apparently the necessary software wasn’t packed. So our tech support folks scrambled this week to get them up and running by the 5pm closure of the copy center. And they did it! We had a party to bid adieu to our friends in the copy center and to welcome the 3 new scanners. Faculty from across campus were invited and a few of them even showed up to test the new machines. Everyone who tried out the scanners got to enter a contest for 1 of 5 1GB flash drives. One undergrad walked right up to the scanner and started punching buttons while our staff stood around for a lesson.
We have some work to do. Instructions need to be posted. It’s not the most intuitive operation. File sizes are quite large, so don’t plan to scan a 30 page article and email it to yourself. So far we’ve discovered that 5 pages is about 5MGs, so you’ll have to send 5 emails – at least until we figure out all the tricks.
But… no more fumbling for change, no more change that gets jammed, no more paper jams, no more copies you can barely read because the printer is low on toner, no machine awaiting a paper refill, no more papers that get misplaced or torn. Scanning is free! Scans can be saved to a flash drive or emailed! Woo-hoo!!
Shall we take bets? The use of the few print copy machines we maintain will diminish. Scanning will become the cool thing to do. We predict that students will take to this like they take to text messaging.
I imagine we’ll be doing a lot of publicity on the scanners so be sure to check out our library blogs!