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Clerk's Office Goes Digital

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 @ 12:21 PM

Baxter County, Arkansas County Clerk's office is gearing up to go live on line in April.  A digital record of circuit and county court will be fully accessible to the public via computer. Baxter County is ahead of most other counties in Arkansas in the digital effort and happy to be doing digitizing recordsso.  The county clerk received a reminder of the efficiency factor of digitizing with a telephone call from a special circuit judge who will preside over a lawsuit against a global motor company.  The judge believes he needs a copy of the entire case file - several thousands of pages.  Such requests were huge amounts of retrieval and photocopying work for the office staff, but now entails a few clicks of the mouse.

In addition, microfilm records from 1981 to 1995 containing land and deed information will be digitized and made available to the public.  Here presents a huge savings of staff time by not having to dig through boxes of files and books and photocopying information for a public document request.  Those records will now be online and accessible to the public.

Why did baxter Clerks office make the move from paper to electronic records?  One reason was they were absolutely running out of room.  The office of the clerk and circuit clerk occupy most of the first floor and all of the basement of the Baxter County Courthouse.  Its paper records fill up much of the space plus 6 more rooms in the county annex.

What benefits has the clerk's office realized from digitizing their records?  They are saving money on storage and money on staff retrieval time.  Instead of searching through rooms full of files and books, now the staff and the public can search for information online.

Is it time you started exploring document scanning and digitization?  Let us walk you through what is needed to research the information necessary to make a decision.  Contact Paul Connolly via email at pconnolly@amsimaging.com and get started!

Tags: document scanning, Paperless Office, microfilm

Is Old Microfilm Dangerous to Your Health?

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 12:40 PM

This is one of the interesting questions that we received recently and I immediately thought it must be related to the Silver Halide that is on the microfilm.  My immediate thought is if it is touched or consumed it would be an obvious hazard to your health.  Silver Halide film is similar to traditional photographic film that uses a silver emulsion on a polyester base. It is the film type used in the camera to make the master film. Silver Halide is the most light sensitive of all the films used, hence it can record a greater variance of density and contrast microfilmpresent in the original material. As one of the only two films that are considered archival, it is the film of choice. Silver halide is the preferred film as it gives the highest resolution, where longevity and high quality are paramount.

Imagine when I asked the question to one of our Solutions Analyst, "Is old microfilm dangerous to your health" and I received a totally unexpected answer.  If microfilm is not stored properly it can collect mold and it is the mold that is dangerous to your health.  If it is stored in a damp area moisture will get trapped within the layers of the microfilm and that is where the mold will attack the Silver Halide. The Silver Halide is highly susceptible to mold.  The film is wrapped so tight that once it gets in the microfilm it is impossible to get it out. 

How do you know if the mold has made its way into your microfilm?  That is an easy one. Just open the box and if the smell makes you say "Woof!", you know you have mold.

Our advice from experience -  take the necessary steps to store your microfilm properly.  Film stored in a controlled environment will last over 500 years.  

If you find storage is costly or you don't want to take a chance, look to us to digitize those records and store your information on a CD or upload to your current business system.

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Tags: document scanning, microfilm, Document Imaging

Scanpro 2000 - The Microfilm Scanner That Changes Everything!

Posted by Dan Termale on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 @ 11:37 AM

Article by: Jim Connolly

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At the recently completed NELA 2012, (also known as New England Library Association) that was held in the quintessential New England town of Sturbridge Massachusetts, I began to reflect on how the Scan Pro 2000 has changed the way librarians think about their collections of microfilm. Many have told me that because of the Scan Pro 2000 (some collections are in excess of thousands of microfilm rolls) they now are able to utilize the microfilm in ways they never thought possible. For instance, having the ability to create a word searchable .pdf has transformed the way researchers go about their business. Who would-a “thunk-it”, putting ”microfilm” and “word searchable” in the same sentence. Brilliant!

NELA ConferenceAnother example on how the Scan Pro 2000 has helped make their everyday tasks less cumbersome is having the ability to email requested information right from the desktop. Typically a librarian from the reference department would get a request for a specific type of information from the local newspaper and then asked to fax or mail it back to the requester. With the “email” feature on the Scan Pro 2000, instead of copying and taping, they can now scan the image, save it and then attach it to an email and off it goes. Brilliant!, what a difference this makes!

These features are just two examples of how the Scan Pro 2000 can assist you with your collection of all things microfilm. During NELA, I had many inquiries and positive comments on the Scan Pro 2000. So if you haven’t seen a demonstration on how this device can help you and your library take a few minutes and watch the YouTube video below. Brilliant!

To learn even more about the amazing Scan Pro 2000 Click Here!

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Tags: scanners, microfilm

Scanning Historical Records? Read This First!

Posted by Dan Termale on Fri, Jun 08, 2012 @ 12:25 PM

newspaper documentsDoes your company, local library, or someone you know have thousands of historical documents stored on the pre-historic microfilm rolls or databases? Many libraries across the country still have their old fashion microfilm machines that make it very difficult to sort and search for specific documents and records. The historical documents that you have stored are very valuable pieces of information that you do not want to lose use of! There must be a new technology that makes it easy for you to manage, search, and scan these documents!

Theres good news! There is a new technology that makes it so easy for you to transfer your old microfilm documents into digital searchable files that will revolutionize the amount of information you are able to offer your clientele! They can now come in and just do a simple search for a newspaper article dated back to 1945 , for example, and the document will be quickly and accurately retrieved! Search for specific terms, dates, names, and whatever else you want to do a search for, it has never been this easy.

Read on screen, print on paper, or scan to PC, the digital era gives you powerful new ways to use microform information. Now there are Microform Scanners that makes it easy to do all three. The ScanPro2000, one of out best selling scanners, is so compact and user friendly that anyone can use it ! Watch this short product video to see it in action!

At AMS Imaging we also offer our professional scanning services. We have been scanning documents for over 40 years, so I think its safe to say that we are pretty good at it! We have a full scale scanning services facility where we will scan and index all of your files for you! Many company's do not have the resources or time to scan all of their files and backlogs so we go in and handle it all for them! It is actually more cost effective for us to scan your files than for you to do it yourself. You will see a quick ROI early on in the process! 

For more information about AMS Imaging and the products and services we offer check out our Main Website or Contact Us to speak with one of our solutions experts!

Tags: scanners, microfilm

Microfilm - The Most Trusted Tool for Preservation?

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 @ 12:33 PM

Written by Paul Connolly

Microfilm is a trusted tool for long term preservation. Microfilm  has a life expectancy of 100 years for a diazo duplicates and 500 years for a silver original/master if stored properly in adescribe the image controlled environment.  The only issue is will we be able to read microfilm in a 100 years never mind 500! But with the technologies that are now available we can make documents available within seconds. Technology also  allows us to back up documents daily thus creating digital preservation.

And yes digital preservation has its negatives also.

Digital technology is developing quickly and retrieval and viewing technologies can become obsolete in a matter of years. When faster, more capable and less expensive storage and processing devices are developed, older versions may be quickly replaced. When a software or technology is abandoned, or a hardware device is no longer in production, records created with such technologies are at great risk of loss, simply because they are no longer accessible. This process is known as digital obsolescence. To avoid digital obsolescence clients need to migrate their data. Migration is the transferring of data to a newer system or media. This may include conversion of resources from one file format to another (e.g., conversion of Microsoft Word to PDF), from one operating system to another or from one programming language to another so the resource remains fully accessible and functional.  

Digital preservation is defined as:

Long-term, error-free storage of digital information, with means for retrieval and interpretation, for the entire time span the information is required for. Long-term is defined as "long enough to be concerned with the impacts of changing technologies, including support for new media and data formats, or with a changing user community.

We can also create microfilm from an electronic image if required.  Do they need to access the documents? If so do they have a microfilm/microfiche reader printers available. Equipment comes a high cost also,(maintenance cost, service contracts, toner or ink cartridges, down time, paper) Most companies/people have access to adobe’s free pdf viewer so documents can be sent via email, saved to thumb drives, etc.

In the end it all comes down to do you have a retention plan in place? And most importantly do you follow the guide lines of your retention plan? Remember though, we are not privy in a lot of cases when it comes to the legality of the document so we always recommend speaking to legal council before making any decisions. Each state has its own guidelines and requirements.

If you would like more information or to discuss this further please contact us.

 

Tags: scanners, microfilm

Weigh Your Choice: ScanPro 2000 or Time and Materials

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 @ 10:15 AM

Article by Jim Connolly

In my last blog (there’s that word again) I spoke of microfilm and how it still has a place in today’s information crazy world. Now I’ve been doing this microfilm thing for the better part of 30 years. During that time I’ve seen the “best” and “latest” that were going to revolutionize the microfilm world. They come and they go. What’s left? I can tell you from my own experience, not much.

For many years I would drag, pull, push, and lift the old style microfilm “reader printers”, asscanpro 2000 they were called, to library conferences and demonstrations throughout New England  and hope a town a city would have enough money to acquire one. While at these conferences I would continually hear from many of the librarians, “Is that thing still around or I thought we would have seen something different by now.” I then would reply, “Sorry but this is it, machine A or machine B. Pick one.”  Now I hate this term because it makes me sound old but “back in the day”, we had all kinds of devices to choose from, until now.

As we all know, money is hard to come by, especially for your local library. Budgets have been slashed and, unfortunately for some, jobs have been lost. Try explaining to an employee why you need money to keep the old clunker going, while cutting their hours. Good luck with that. Maintenance contracts have become very expensive, and library directors have tried rolling the dice hoping the unit would not breakdown. Sometimes they win but most times they lose. A “time and materials” service call can run up to as much a maintenance contract, giving the directors agida.

Recently, as little as 18 months ago, a gift was dropped on my doorstep at AMS Imaging, the Scan Pro 2000. Wow. I have never, ever been more impressed with a device. The Scan Pro 2000 has bridged the gap between the analog world and the digital one. Who said they could never work together.  It has taken the best of both worlds and created a stunningly successful offspring. I know what you’re going to say, hey you, it’s been done before, ever heard of Minolta or Canon?” Well yes I have, but those are not in the same category compared this one. The ScanPro 2000 is, in my opinion, the best microfilm scanner known today. Its combination of its ease of use, compact size, price, and many other features, (too numerous to list,) make it the best of its kind in the microfilm scanning world. If you haven’t seen it or witnessed a demo, and I strongly suggest you do, especially if you’re a researcher or a reference librarian. Give it a look, you might be impressed, I did, and I was.

Jim Connolly has given more than 200 ScanPro 2000 demonstrations in the short 18 month time the ScanPro was released.  Contact us now for yours!

 

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Tags: Document Management, microfilm

Microfilm and Grandma

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 @ 10:33 AM

Article written by : Jim Connolly

What is a Blog?  Blogging? Blogger?  I’ve been asked to write a blog.  But just a few short years ago if someone, anyone, asked you to “blog”, you would have looked at them with a quizzical look and say, “What?"  Nowadays, those same people have that look when you ask them to look at microfilm.

Let’s face it, microfilm doesn’t excite the masses but it still has its place in our “high tech” world.  When you mention the word “microfilm”, most people think of James Bond and spy microfilmovies.  Yes, it was used for “spying” but it is much more than that.  Microfilm has been around since the 1800’s.  Not all information can be accessed through a search engine, but that’s always the first place we run, to find whatever it is we’re looking for.  However, if you needed information from your hometown’s history or when grandpa and grandma were married, you’ll find it on microfilm, not from Google, Yahoo or any other search engine.

So when someone does ask you to look at “film”, don’t give them a blank stare, and go there willingly knowing you will find what you’re researching.  Microfilm is and still is the only true archive known today and the only “eye readable” media. I’ve always said that with a magnifying glass and flashlight I can see the information on the microfilm.  Try doing that with a CD or a DVD. Ask grandma, she knows.

 

Interested in learning about a microfilm reader?  View this video on the ScanPro 2000

 

Tags: Document Management, microfilm

The Four Microform Carriers Available with the ScanPro 2000

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 @ 04:37 PM

The microform carriers supplied with the ScanPro 2000 use heavy gauge steel and steel bearings on all moving parts. These carriers are used in microfilm conversion applications and in public use applications. A customer recently reported "Our ScanPro's are constantly in use by the public, they just get hammered and they just keep working".

These motorized combination carriers utilize a digital micro controller to precisely position theScanPro 2000 microfilm image on the view screen. The state-of-the-art design of these microfilm carriers makes it possible to position the film image without requiring the use of manual knobs found on old style carriers. These precision controllers make look ups and research faster and easier. A researcher using one of the old style carriers recently stated "having to go back and forth between the screen controls and the manual knobs on the carrier to position the screen image is frustrating and time consuming".

Why is so much effort put into developing a precision carrier? Well, it makes for a better product, it lasts much longer and provides for better location of the microfilm image on the view screen. These precision microform carriers were develped right from the start so that a carrier could be used as a platform for automatic scanning.

There are four microform carriers that are available with the ScanPro 2000. There is a flat film carrier and three combination carries to choose from.

Choose the carrier that you need for your film types:

  • Fiche Carrier (fiche, ultra fiche, jackets, aperture cards, micro opaques).
  • UCC150 manual combination carrier for fiche (including flat films listed above) and 35/16mm roll film.
  • UCC300 manual and motorized roll film carrier for: fiche (including flat films listed above) and motorized 16/35mm roll film.
  • UCC400 manual and motorized roll film carrier for: fiche (including flat films listed above) and motorized 16/35mm roll film and motorized cartridge film (M).

Want to learn more about the other features of the ScanPro 2000? Click here for your Free ScanPro 2000 brouchure.


Tags: scanners, microfilm

The ScanPro® 2000 - Part 2 Ultra Compact Design

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Tue, Oct 11, 2011 @ 11:13 AM

The ultra-compact ScanPro® 2000 has a desktop footprint the size of two sheets of letter-sized paper.

The NEW ScanPro 2000 microfilm scanner is ultra compact with a desktop foot print the size of two sheets of letter paper. It utilizes heavy gauge steel throughout and all moving parts ScanPro2000 Dims4 resized 600use steel bearings for smooth, reliable, precision film movement. This microfilm scanner is designed for the rigors of public use applications and provides many powerful, time saving features for working with your microform images quickly and efficiently. And, when space availability is important, fits almost anywhere.

The ScanPro 2000 is only 7.5" high and weighs only 19 lbs. It doesn't have external brackets, lens rings, and operator assembly adjustments that can be misadjusted or damaged. The sturdy, integrated ScanPro 2000 design provides reliable performance in public use applications.

 

 Perfect for:

Historical Societies

Genealogical Societies

School Transcript Records

Universities

Banks

Part 3:  The Four Microform carriers available with the ScanPro 2000.

 

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Tags: document scanning, microfilm, Document Imaging

The ScanPro® 1000 has been replaced by the ScanPro® 2000- Part I

Posted by Cindy Bialy on Thu, Oct 06, 2011 @ 03:37 PM

Click me The ultra-compact ScanPro 1000 was first released in 2006 and rapidly became the microform scanner of choice in leading research facilities, public and university libraries, and companies around the world. The ScanPro 2000has built on that reputation of innovation and performance and replaced the ScanPro 1000 in early 2009. This series of blogs will delve in to the specific characteristics and benefits of the Scan Pro 2000, making it the clear leader in micrographic reader industry.

The ScanPro® 2000 was designed from the bottom up to be energy efficient, engineering that earned it the Energy Star logo for environmentally friendly design.

  • The "Cool Green" illumination system is hundreds of times more efficient than white lamps used in other equipment and doesn't generate harmful heat that could damage film.
  • The ScanPro's "Cool Green" illumination system doesn't contain materials found in CCFL illumination systems that have been identified by the EPA as a danger to health and harmful to the environment.
  • Its electronic components were selected for low power consumption and a special surface mount design was incorporated to minimize power usage.
  • When components are not required to be operational, they turn off automatically to save even more energy, features not available with any other microfilm equipment.
  • The ScanPro's power management feature lets users select the low-power sleep mode that best meets their application requirements.

Products that earn                                       
the Energy Star: energystar

  • Run more efficiently
  • Use less electricity
  • Lower utility bills
  • Save you money                                        
  • Are safer for the environment

What is Energy Star?
Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, which helps Americans save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.

According to the EPA, if all imaging equipment sold in the U.S. met Energy Star requirements, we would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of about 4 million vehicles.

The ScanPro 2000 has been recognized by Energy Star as the only microfilm scanning equipment that meets the EPA’s new, demanding requirements for designs using the least amount of energy and helping protect the environment.

Next Article:  ScanPro 2000's Ultra Compact Design

 

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Tags: document scanning, microfilm, Document Imaging