Digitising books quickly forming online ‘library’ of the future

Public libraries were once an incredible resource, making it possible for anyone to gain knowledge, broaden their mind and learn something new at an affordable price. However, far from being the bustling, energetic hubs that they used to be, users are decreasing in numbers, as are the number of libraries in existence. But the thirst for knowledge still lives on and the industry must adapt, with the help of book digitisation, to feed the brains of the future.

Naveed Ashraf, Managing Director at Pearl Scan expanded, “The widespread use of the internet means that almost anything, ranging from recipes for baking to finding out historic facts can be found fast, and for free. However, unlike at public libraries there is no vetting process to ensure the quality of this information. Although people desire free knowledge, they also seek it from reputable sources, meaning there is a need for the library system, but it must be modified.”

The true state of the public library was revealed in recent figures released by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. Public usage had fallen by 16% and spending by 14%, with 343 libraries closing in the past five years. However, in an age where information can quickly be found with a simple Internet search, the act of heading to a library becomes redundant. In order to ensure that the valuable insight, creativity and knowledge stored on the shelves of the classic library is not lost, digitising books and storing them online can put this information in front of curious eyes, forming the online library of the future.

Naveed Ashraf continued, “If public libraries had an online presence and scanned their books ready to be viewed on their website, their online platforms could become as readily used as large search engines such as Google and Yahoo.”

Pearl Scan has been a leading name in the world of document scanning for over a decade, developing its services in line with the changing needs of its clients. Outsourcing an initial book scanning service from a provider like Pearl Scan could quickly and effectively see any public library ‘go digital’, making the knowledge they store available using modern, relevant methods.

To find out more about Pearl Scan and its archive book service, visit: 

Preserve classic tales for generations with book digitisation services

 

Since ancient times, storytelling has been a cornerstone of culture and exchange of knowledge. For thousands of years the greater part of this was done by oral tradition, as only religious leaders or the wealthy had the advantage of literacy. However, as education become more accessible, more information was written down and shared on paper.

Beowulf is one of the oldest known examples of literature written down, a tale that is still cherished by many today (most recently adapted to the big screen in 2007, in a version starring Angelina Jolie, Ray Winstone and Anthony Hopkins.) The original manuscript dates back to as early as the 10th century, and sadly the text has suffered extensive damage over the year. A fire in 1731 has caused hurt that even careful restoration work couldn’t reverse.

It wasn’t until an electronic version of the manuscript was produced that much of the text lost from rebinding and fading over time became visible again, thus preserving this important piece of art for generations to enjoy for years to come.

Literary digitisation not only ensures the lifelines of classic stories, but it also makes them more widely available. Previously, the only way to enjoy a text was to buy a physical copy, yet now with the popularity of mobile devices, digitised version of even the oldest stories can be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. For authors, this is a truly exciting prospect; thanks to a book scanning service, readers have direct and immediate access to their work from devices that they are very likely to be carrying with them at all times anyway.

Dracula, A Christmas Carol and The Wind In The Willows are some of the classic tales that rank in the top 50 titles for Kindle eBooks, proving that these stories still resonate with modern audiences. Their conversation to digital format has meant that thought the content of the stories themselves has not aged, the original manuscripts can be protected from further wear- by scanning them into a digital format, the originals can still be examined, but they will not be exposed to excessive handling, which can cause further degradation.

Protecting our literature’s heritage is vital, but it’s also important that these fabulous pieces of history are still available to study and enjoy in their original form, and digital conversion is the ideal solution.

Our book scanning service is perfect for archiving and preserving rare and fragile texts of all sizes in a variety of formats and we can even scan precious books intact, which exposes the pages to less heat than other methods. 

Should We Digitise All Books?

In the midst of the digital revolution there are very few physical formats that have not been equalled by a virtual counterpart. Everything from listening to and storing music to paying for our everyday items can now take place with the swipe of a screen. The way in which we read has also been affected, and the invention of book scanning means that hard backs, paper backs, newspapers, magazines, heritage books and more can all be digitised to be read on formats such as a Kindle, computer or tablet. Although a large number of individuals, educational institutions, museums, libraries and more all use book scanning services in order to digitise their books, there are still many more words on printed paper that are yet to be scanned and documented virtually. But should all books be digitised?

 

Making large volumes on information accessible

One main benefit that demonstrates the popularity of book scanning, or any other kind of document scanning, is the advantages that can be found when reducing the information from being found in a large, heavy, cumbersome article to being a weightless digital file. As a virtual format these files can be stored either on the Internet, a cloud based server or on an internal ‘library’ system which reduces the time and effort needed in order to locate and read a piece of text, also meaning that these files can be accessed from a remote location, not necessarily where the actual book is archived. What’s more, when scanned with OCR technology huge documents or reports can be searched through in a matter of seconds, locating the information that matters to you most in an instant.

 

Preserving delicate texts

Books, newspapers and magazines are largely made from paper, a material that becomes delicate, fades and degrades over time. Lots of important information, either sentimental or academic, has become lost due to the physical format of an original paper document disintegrating after years of being kept in storage. Using a book scanning service and digitising these books can ensure that history is preserved forever with an indestructible copy of the original text.  

 

There is nothing to stop you!

Book scanning technology is very advanced now and it is capable of handing a wide variety of books, magazines, newspapers and more. Although many companies only offer scanning of unbound books, at Pearl Scan we can also digitise bound books so that your valuable hard copy doesn’t need to be destroyed. Even the most delicate or faint texts can be scanned in high resolution, edited and stored in a digital format, breathing new life into old or damaged documents. Books can be scanned to PDF, Kindle and Microsoft Word, giving you limitless options for enjoying your digitised books.

 

 

So now, what do you think? Should we digitise all books? If you want to learn more about the book scanning services on offer at Pearl Scan, head to our webpage.