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Learning to Use Book Scanner

BookScanner320Several months ago, the Seneca Free Library added a book scanner in the genealogy room. My husband was likely one of the first to utilize this tool. Yesterday, I decided to figure out how to use it for a project that I’ve wanted to complete for a couple of years.

Having worked with technology, I didn’t think it would be that difficult to figure out. To my surprise, I faced a major obstacle when I first sat down in front of the scanner. I couldn’t find the button to turn it on! Fortunately, my husband was near a phone and able to walk me thru turning the computer on and getting started.

  • To turn on — There is a button on the underneath side to turn the computer on. The button is on the right side about 1 inch from the edge.
  • There is a password to login to the computer. The library staff can provide that password.
  • There is a button on the scanner that looks like a white triangle to turn the scanner on. This button is blue when the scanner is on.
  • The icon for the scanning software was in the middle of the screen. Clicking this icon opens the software
  • Once the software is opened, my husband advised that I select ‘Custom Scan’. This allowed me to select options for the scan. I selected the following options on the ‘Custom Scan’ screen.
    • File Type – Document
    • Destination – USB Drive
    • File Format — PDF (other options include jpg)
    • Convert OCR – Yes

Armed with his directions, I was able to start scanning.

  • To scan, I simply put the document on the black felt about 1″ from the back edge. Since I wanted to make sure I would be able to easily print the PDF file, I wanted to keep the items within an 8.5″ x 11″ space. Thus, I used the LTR guides on the left and right side as a guide for where to place my documents. Once the items were in place I clicked the SCAN or CONTINUE SCAN button on the computer.
  • Once finished with the documents, I clicked the finish button. This opened a ‘document review’ screen. On this screen, I was able to rotate the item.
  • I also discovered that I needed to pay attention to the center of the screen where it showed the scanned image and a red outline. This red line indicates what will be included in the final outcome. In some cases, I needed to bring this line was cutting off some text. In other cases, it was only including part of what I scanned.
  • When I finished reviewing the output, I clicked ‘SAVE’ and the pdf file was saved to my USB flash drive.

In my one hour of scanning I was able scan about 1/3 of one box of 3×5 notecards. Hopefully, I will be able to make it to the library to finish this box of documents this week.

I’m hoping to learn how to use this book scanner to scan the following types of records:

  • Photo Albums
  • Scrapbooks
  • Journals