In recent years, we’ve been moving away from physical storage mediums, e.g. floppy disks and CD’s, and toward more accessible digital forms of data storage. The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library hopes to bridge this gap between physical and digital through the installation of its new ST ViewScan III digital microfilm reader and scanner.
You might be asking what microfilms are and why they still exist. Unlike floppy disks, a properly stored microfilm, a small film reel containing microphotographs of newspapers, documents, etc., has the potential to last for over 500 years, which makes it a valuable storage and preservation tool for historical resources.
In the past, microfilm readers only allowed the user to view the microphotographs. The new ST ViewScan III operates as both a reader and scanner, so visitors can use the machine to enhance pictures, print what they want from the reels, and save images to an email or USB drive. You can even add personal edits, such as highlights, to the scanned image!
In a Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library press release, Assistant Director of Technology Angela Strong reinforced the library’s goal to keep, “looking for innovative ways to meet our patron’s need,” and stated that, “this microfilm reader and scanner provides them with dynamic digital technology.”
If you want to give the new microfilm reader and scanner a try, visit the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library’s Local History Room, open Mondays 1pm-4pm and Thursdays 5pm-7pm or by appointment.