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.