Scanning for customers

Yesterday, I had to say "no" to one of our users. He was asking if the library had a scanner that he could use. I’m embarrassed to say that we haven’t really considered a library scanner, except for internal use and interlibrary loan. But, lots of people are digitizing documents, using software like PaperPort and flash drives to create organized, portable files. The UI provides scanners in most of its student computer labs, but not here in the College of Law.

A conversation started here today that may end with the purchase of a no-charge scanner for our users. I think it belongs in the reference office for now–that’s a secure location for the machine, and it gives our reference librarians a chance to chat with the digitizers. In another library, the scanner might belong right next to the photocopy machine.

Seems to me that once we’ve lured our digital natives into the library, we need to provide the technology that they expect. And, we can save a tree–or two!