Oregon Library Offers Free Service To Help Patrons Digitize Photos
Salem Public Library’s Technology Learning Center Includes Equipment For Preserving Old Photos, Video, And Audio
Preserving your family’s priceless photos, videos, and audio is a terrific idea for a holiday gift. These precious moments can’t be bought at any department store, and they don’t have to cost much if you have some time to spare. There are a few ways to go about digitizing your memories. If you have lots of photos and a bit of money to spend on the project, you’ll get the best results using a fast and professional photo scanning service. But what if you just want to digitize a few photos, or few clips of video, or an old audio recording? If you have the tools and the know-how, you can do it yourself. And if you live in Salem, Oregon, you can get the job done even if you aren’t a computer whiz with a bunch of gadgets at your disposal. Just in time for the holidays, the Salem Public Library has revamped its Technology Learning Center with equipment to copy photos, slides, documents, records and audio and video tapes onto a DVD, CD, or thumb drive. You’ll have to pay for the blank discs or storage devices (or bring your own) but use of the equipment is free.
Reference librarian Janet Baker is one of the staffers available to help visitors use the equipment. She has step-by-step instructions for each machine, so that anyone can use them without difficulty. “A lot of people have photos at home that are lying in boxes,” she said. “It’s a great way to get library patrons involved so they can stay current with the fast-changing technology world.” The library’s adult and youth services manager Karen Fischer calls the Technology Learning Center “a great equalizer.” First and foremost, the library is a community center, said Fischer. “We try to reach out and provide what our community needs,” she said. Fischer pointed out that professional photo scanning services are a great options for those who can afford them, and who don’t have the time to scan each photo by hand. “But others can come here, learn about the technology, and gain new skills for a future job or hobby. We level the playing field.”