Harvard College Library

HCL Pilots Self Service Scanners

Joe Bourneuf, Head of Reference and Information Services in Widener, explains how to use the Ikon DocSend to Kelly Bowse '08.

June 1, 2005 - HCL Information Technology Services (ITS) and public services staff from Widener and Lamont libraries have partnered to assess a new self-service scanning system in the HCL libraries. The service will be offered free of charge and will allow users to digitize library materials on demand for educational purposes.

The scanner selected for the pilot is the IKON DocSend, which is a walk-up kiosk scanning system with the ability to save scanned files to a USB flash drive or to transfer the files to another computer using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Adam Johnson, Senior Computer Support Specialist, and Jeff Bernhard, Assistant Director for IT Operations, have worked closely with IKON over the last few months to customize the DocSend system software for HCL. Last week two pilot scanners were installed, one in Widener’s Atkins Reference Room and one in Lamont’s Reference Room. Joe Bourneuf, Head of Information and Reference Services in Widener, and Linda Collins, Head of Access Services in Lamont, will serve as the point people for the pilot, which will run through the end of the fall semester.

ITS selected the DocSend system in consultation with HCL’s Imaging Services, but before that could be done, Deb Morley, Director of ITS, first had to determine the scope of services to offer. "While the request to provide such a service seems straightforward, there are a number of stakeholders I felt it necessary to include in the discussion as we began to define the new service," said Morley, who solicited feedback from staff in HCL Instructional Services, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Instructional Computing Group, Reference and Access Services Council, and Weissman Preservation Center.

According to Morley, public services staff generally indicated that they need to offer a bare-bones scan-and-go service where patrons can do image and text capture but not manipulation. DocScan fits the bill for public services staff and includes a sheet feeder to scan multiple pages in succession.

To gauge the pilot’s success, Public Services staff will track both scanner usage and patron feedback at Widener and Lamont. At the end of the fall semester, Morley and staff from ITS, Public Services, and Imaging Services, and the Associate Librarians will evaluate the scanners’ usefulness. If the pilot is a success, self-service scanning will be offered in other HCL libraries. It is possible that other scanners will be brought in on a trial basis. ITS is also collaborating with Imaging Services on a preliminary evaluation of scanning solutions that might be more appropriate for fragile, non-circulating materials like those used in Houghton—which would require staff-mediated scanning services—or Widener’s Phillips Reading Room.


This story appears courtesy of the Harvard College Library Communications Office
Copyright © 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College