Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tips for using the BookScan Station

If you have not heard, the Mount Clemens Public Library has purchased the BookScan Station.

Here are some tips for using the BookScan Station in the Local History/Genealogy Room.

1. Besides your documents, bring your USB drive/Flash drive/ Thumb drive with you. If you are planning to scan a lot of items or large items at the higher scan resolutions you will likely need a drive with at least a couple gigabytes of capacity. An older small USB drive (1 GB or less) will only hold one or at most a couple scans depending on the resolution your scan resolution.
  • If you accidentally forget your USB drive/Flash drive/Thumb drive, don't worry. The library now has a supply of 1GB flash drives available for purchase for $4 each. They are not fancy but will get the job done without having to find the nearest store or come back to the library again later.
  • Now that the station is out of demo-mode, besides saving to your USB drive you have:
    • the capability to email a file to yourself (or someone else.) For output to e-mail, the user will be asked to enter his/her e-mail address through the touchscreen keyboard. When the user opens his/her e-mail inbox, there will be an e-mail with a subject header that says "Your file from the scan station at Mount Clemens Public Library" or something to that effect.
    • send a file to your Google drive. For output to GoogleDrive, the user must already have a Google account and will be asked to enter his/her Gmail address and password through the touchscreen keyboard. When the scan completes, the file will then be automatically uploaded to the designated GoogleDrive account.
    • send a file to your bluetooth smartphone/tablet. For output to smartphone, the screen will display a QR code at the conclusion of the scan. The smartphone user will then need to scan the QR code with his phone, which will transfer the file directly to the user's smartphone. The user will need to 1)have a QR code reader app already installed on his phone and 2) know how to use it. iPads can also use the smartphone output to capture the file.
    • output a scan to the printer. This will send the print job to the printer between the two computers in the genealogy room. THE PRINT JOB TAKES A MINUTE OR TWO TO PRINT, so patrons need to be patient. Just like when you are printing a record image from Ancestry, the printer needs a couple of minutes to spool up the job, but it will spit it out eventually. Patrons should be reminded that they need to pay 10 cents per page for the print just as they do when printing from the other computers in the room.
There are special materials for cleaning these scanners; anything else may damage the platen glass/lenses. So please notify the library staff if you see the scanners are in need of cleaning. The scanners are not to ever be dry-wiped or wiped with any kind of wet-wipe that has anything other than alcohol on it.

3. Flatbed Scanner Tips
This scanner is for items up to 11 inches by 17 inches. It has a book-edge so pages of books will lay flat and the spine will not be damaged.
  • DO NOT MOVE THE FLATBED SCANNER. The lenses need to be locked down to avoid damage and patrons should not attempt this.
  • REMOVE ALL STAPLES AND PAPERCLIPS before placing the item on the glass platen. This will help prevent scratching the glass. Please be careful of your rings also.
  • DO NOT PUT EXTREMELY HEAVY OBJECTS ON THE FLATBED SCANNER. This means you should not try to scan the large city directories or court books. Instead for these items ask the volunteer or library staff to use the MagicWand Scanner to capture the page you desire. 
  • DO NOT DROP ITEMS on the platen glass, gently place them so the glass does not break.
  • The scanner will automatically straighten document scans not placed square on the platen glass.
    • If the document you are scanning has diagonal line at its' edge, the scanner may have trouble with automatically straightening it. Try turning the document 90 degrees on the platen (if it fits that way.)
  • If you are trying to scan smaller items with irregular edges or smaller items that are very dark, place a blank sheet of paper behind (on top of) the item so the scanner will not automatically straighten or accidentally crop your document scan. You can then use the crop feature to edit the scan size.
4. Sheet-Feed Scanner Tips
This scanner is for loose and flexible papers/photos (single- or double-sided); not for stiff items or delicate items that you don't want damaged.
  • REMOVE ALL STAPLES AND PAPERCLIPS before loading into the feeder. Also, any post-it notes.
  • When loading multiple pages at one time (up to 50), fan the sheets to ensure they are not sticking together. Then straighten and load the pages.
  • Place items in the feeder front-printed-side down (not facing you) and so the top of the page enters the scanner first.
  • After scanning, DO REVIEW EACH PAGE SCAN to ensure the scanner did not rotate a page by mistake.
5. Choose the scan options best for your document.
The BookScan station has several scan options for your use. You decide how you want to scan your item at the beginning of a scan session. After your initial scan and save you will need to select these choices again after taping the "scan more" instead of "I'm done."
  • You can create a JPG, TIFF, PDF, Searchable PDF or Word file.
    •  JPG is a compressed file format. (You can not set the compression rate.)
    •  TIFF is an uncompressed file format.
    •  PDF is a Portable Document File. Use a program like Adobe Acrobat to open the file. It is mostly used for text or text and image documents. Note: usually images in PDF format can not be edited.
    •  Searchable PDF is a PDF also ... BUT the BookScan station applies Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to the file so you can perform a search/find on the text in the file you just made/saved. When creating Searchable PDFs, please note that it does take a long time for the final processing to take place. Eight-pages in tabloid size creating a file size of 3-6 MB, can take at least two minutes to process (create the word search feature). Fifty pages in letter-size creating a file size of xx MB, can take over ten minutes to process. You may think something has gone wrong but just be patient, the searchable feature is well worth the wait.
    • Word file is a document for opening in a word processing program, MicroSoft Word.
  • You can scan in Color, Grayscale, or Black and White.
  • You can choose your scan resolution.
- Standard Quality is 200 Pixels Per Inch (PPI) resolution.
- High Quality is 300 Pixels Per Inch (PPI) resolution.
- Photo Quality is 600 Pixels Per Inch (PPI) resolution.

If you have a photo editing program like PhotoShop Elements at home, we suggest you scan/save using TIFF instead of JPG. That way you can control the compression rate (loss) of the JPG yourself. (Open your TIFF file in your photo editing program and save a copy of the TIFF file as a JPG with the compression rate you prefer.) Remember: every time you save a jpg file it compresses (throws out more information) again.

The station initially comes up with a standardized generic name which includes the date. You can choose to keep this standardized name (and rename the files when you get home) or choose to give it a more descriptive name (so you find find that image back again later.)

If you want to give each scan an individual descriptive name, you will need to save each document right after you scan it. Tap the next after you are happy with the scan image. When the image is processed and saved, you can choose "scan more" or "I'm done."

If you are scanning multiple items at one time (batch scanning) and you choose jpg or tiff format, the station will apply a sequential number to the file name used -- the standardized generic name or one you choose. So all the individual files created carry the same name along with a number (1, 2, 3, etc.)

For those who attended a Let's Talk meeting last November/December or have read the initial blog post about the SimpleScan or BookScan station, I mentioned a caution at the time in regards to batch scanning. I had experienced the station creating one jpg file with multiple images imbedded into that file rather than it creating muliple jpg files (one for each scan) when I batch scanned. (I saw no way to get the images separated into separate files.) That was in demo mode. This situation appears to have been corrected now that the station is out of demo mode. I ran a test last night (to double check this problem) and this situation did not appear again. I got multiple files labeled sequentially, not one file with multiple images inside it.

If you batch scan and choose pdf or searchable pdf, the image scans will all appear in the same pdf file.

If you come up with any questions or tips of your own when using the BookScan Station let us know.

See You Soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!


1 comment:

  1. ALSO, remember DO NOT SHUT OFF the BookScan Station when you are done!