From clunky, old and cranky to....
sleek, compact and nice features....
We have the most supportive Friends organization ever. We had been struggling with an old, cranky microfilm machine whose sole output was scratchy views of old newspapers or building permits, and whose printer was so finicky, librarians spent more time on their knees jiggling this and that to get it to print than it actually printed out. Librarians and library patrons alike were frustrated. We began to regard it as a rather bulky paperweight.
Friends of Monrovia Public Library to the rescue. Not only did they hear our plea for new equipment, they were willing to think futuristically to the newest type of microfilm reader made. Then they went a step farther and made sure we were are able to purchase what amounts to an entire scanner/reader station, complete with large format monitor, high-powered computer, large format printer and other assorted bells and whistles.
Say you're looking for an old newspaper article from 1952. Our ScanPro 2000 not only lets you view an entire newspaper page on the 30" portrait monitor, it allows you to print the entire page. You'd rather email it to yourself or a friend you say? Fine - just scan the page, save it to our desktop folder or your own flash drive, open your email, attach it and hit send.
Don't need an entire page? No problem. Crop the article you want and scan, print or email only that portion.
Need to enlarge the text or a picture? Magnify it. The view is too light or too dark? Adjusting brightness or contrast is a breeze. Paper looks crooked on the page? Straighten it. Rotate it. Spin it in a complete circle if that's how you want to spend your time.
Now, while all the playing around with the scanner is fun, it does mean coming into the library to use the equipment. So yes, we've thought of that too. And so, digitizing the collection, posting it online, and allowing public access to these items remotely is already underway.
The best part of all this? The scanner itself is so small it fits tidily on the reference desk. The light in it is green power - energy efficient and never gets hot (heat damages film).
So all of you who have been putting off investigating your house or your grand-nephew's uncle's cousin 10 times removed because the equipment was so bad, rejoice. The Library is once again on your side.