Fire in the Local History Room: Book Scanner

As many of you know, the library offers several scanners for patrons to use. The bullet scanners are perfect for standard 8.5″x11″ documents and the flatbeds will take care of almost everything else. However, if a patron has something brittle or needs advanced scanning capabilities like OCR, we have a secret weapon.

A CZUR book scanner is now available in our Local History Room. With this new toy, you can quickly scan books, documents, objects or anything (with varying levels of finagling) with ease; just turn the page and click. Our staff is excited to use it for a number of projects, and all patrons are welcome to use it. Something to note, it can be tricky to get the lighting right, but you do have the ability to adjust the contrast.

Last month, we were asked by one of our genealogy patrons to save an heirloom from her great grandfather—a 1920s firehouse manuscript. Fire in the Local History Room: Book ScannerFor most normal sized books, this would have been an easy job. However, due to the volume being nearly 3 feet when open, we had to get creative. Just moving it was liable to cause some pages to rip or crumble. I was able to stack a few books under the scanner to increase the range. We also experimented with several of the scanning options such as the double page (scanning an open section and producing two-page files), but we found area scan to work best in this case. Scanning itself was very quick, but due to the size of the pages, rendering took about five minutes per section. In spite of these difficulties, the CZUR made an otherwise impossible job a breeze by allowing the least amount of contact with the document as possible. Best of all, the patron was overjoyed to have saved a valuable family heirloom.


Fire in the Local History Room: Book Scanner

When I used to scan old documents such as telephone directories from the 1950s, all I had was a flatbeds scanner. This would have made my job so much easier. I am currently using it to scan our collection of scrapbooks filled with photos, old handouts and other historical tidbits for the 50th anniversary of the library. While a mountain of newspaper clippings and photos await me, I have completed one book and expect to get through most of the rest this month. The work can be tedious, but there have been some neat finds that I hope patrons will be happy to see. One frequent visitor of the Local History Room was excited by the material and wishes to see the rest of it in the near future. Here’s to 50 years of memories and hopefully another 50 more.

If you have any documents you would like to digitally archive, feel free to head up to the Local History Room on the 3rd floor. Our staff will be more than happy to help you learn how to use the device.

To see the full specifications of the scanner, visit

See you at the library!