What are the requirements for a library scanner?
Besides archives and museums, libraries are among the main custodians of cultural knowledge. With regard to the stocks, there is certainly some overlap. Furthermore, state-sponsored public or academic libraries are service institutions that collect, develop, preserve and provide their users with access to a wide range of information on behalf of the public. Moreover, there are libraries that, like museums, have a certain collection focus or a special function (e.g. music libraries, monastery libraries, school libraries, etc.). Likewise, private libraries, e.g. of companies, religious communities, political parties, public or private associations, can be of high social importance.
The information collected in libraries is conveyed through the provision of media and services; traditionally in form of printed media such as books and journals, but increasingly also in digital form (e-books, DVDs or electronic journals). Since many printed media are often only available as single copies, access to these information carriers is usually very limited. The switch to electronic resources therefore serves to further disseminate and improve the accessibility of media, so that these are no longer limited to one or a few copies. In particular, retro digitization, i.e. the digitization of older collections and rare, valuable books, is becoming increasingly important. Many libraries make these digital copies available via e-readers as digital or virtual libraries.
The on-site use of media in libraries takes place in different ways. A basic distinction is made between lending libraries, in which media can also be physically borrowed, and reference libraries, in which media can only be used on site. Library scanners therefore increase user-friendliness, especially for reference libraries, since the media can also be used outside of the library’s own rooms via digitization.
As part of the cultural heritage, libraries are also highly threatened by disasters or as primary targets of armed conflict. Therefore, the digitization of important, historical and rare library holdings is also a form of active cultural property protection.
Due to these diverse fields of activity, libraries also need different types of library scanners when digitizing their holdings: from self-service scanners as a replacement for copiers to production scanners for document delivery services, to special scanners for retro-digitizing valuable manuscripts, from A3 to A0 large format scanners, from a simple 180° book support up to a conservational V-shape book cradle.
Therefore, self-service scanners such as our book2net Spirit A3 or book2net Public A2 are recommended for public areas with high public traffic, such as reading rooms. They offer quality, ease of use, robustness, durability and a protected operating system that cannot be manipulated. This makes them ideally suited for demanding continuous use and an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional copiers.
In contrast, the digitization centers of libraries need high-performance scanners such as the book2net Ultra A2 or the book2net Mosquito A1. V-scanners such as our book2net Cobra , Lizard and Dragon or special applications such as the book2net multispectral system for the scientific research of manuscripts and incunabula are particularly suitable for the conservational digitization of precious rare collections.
In addition to the special hardware requirements, library scanners also require special software that is intuitive on the one hand and can be easily operated by users in the self-service area, but on the other hand also meets the requirements for integrating third-party software, for supporting service offers (interlibrary loan, etc.), for OCR reading or for generating metadata.