If it is so easy, why elarscans are not used everywhere?
It is not about popular everyday usage, but about professional services and solutions, about more and more important issues of saving digitizing costs, increase an efficiency of document processing at offices and institutions, to transfer business processes to electronic rails. ElarScans digitize test protocol books for new medicines at pharmacy. For visitors at municipal archives it is now convenient to copy the paper records: people do it themselves, scanning directly to personal accounts at public portals — using ElarScans connected to the Internet running at reading rooms. Why such a useful and simple self-service is not known everywhere? Just the tasks of digitizing for every professional area differs, specialists use other terms for task description, even the same types of digitizing devices are calling differently! There are now very new general challenges and trends appearing: «digitization of business», «digital government», «digitized public services», and many others. What to look for, which keywords to use in order to find ElarScans and best proven digitizing practices? Should ElarScans be really called in other way — closer to their real applications and exact professional communities, means — more «user-oriented»?
ElarScans at libraries and universities
During the three years that have passed from the first pilot installations, more than a hundred of ElarScans began to work at large and small organizations — and not only in Russia. Of course, the main applications are at public and university libraries. At universities ElarScans are used to digitise text, doctorate and reference books, providing content for e-learning courses, replace copiers, turning to paperless education — it is better to call them not just a «book-», but a «university-scanner», or a «student’s scanner»! University, public, municipal libraries digitize journal articles and book chapters at the request of researchers and readers. Municipalities and Local Governments use ElarScans to digitise record books, utility maps and journals for easy access online. More and more ElarScans work for self-scanning: a special simplified user interface does not require scanning skills of the visitor to make an electronic copy of pages to flash drive (or to an internet cloud): this is like a «library scanner» or a «self-scanner».
Experts say that self-scanning or «walk-up library scanning» (how they call it) in most cases is used not for books, but for digitizing periodicals, including scientific articles. So ElarScan at public and research libraries it is not just a book, but a «magazine scanner». Having maximum format of A2, ElarScan works as a perfect «newspaper scanner». At the corporate and special libraries, collecting scientific and technical information it should be called a «scanner of R&D reports».
Scanner for public and municipal services
Public officers often say: «There are a lot of important records at our archives, but knowing our overload and long processing time people do not like to request the documents. It is clear that should we publish the digitized content or even just disclose full catalogues of our records, the number of users would increase by hundreds of times!» The quantity of ElarScans at public services is increasing, and not only at central archives. Among the users now are more and more small archives, municipal public services, information departments servicing citizens.
One of the most important ElarScan applications is to scan paper registers and personal act books at the responsible departments of public offices. Digitization of real estate files, archives of land property acts, which include hard to handle large format plans, drawings, maps are the favorite applications of contactless planetary scanners. Book scanners are increasingly used for digitization of documents upon request of the citizen: it has become easier to get an electronic copy, reducing the need to visit the organization.
Digitization for archives and museums
«Archive scanners» and «museum scanners» more often are ultra high resolution scan equipment of very large format, compliant with the specific international requirements for «digitization of national heritage». Being more simple ElarScan is more a «workhorse of digitization», working much faster and easier it does not require professional operators, and — which is important — costs several times less. Digitization of archive catalogues at state and municipal, special and research archives is one of the oldest and still relevant tasks for contactless planetary scanners. At museums it is the similar classic application — digitizing of inventory books to fill up a museum information systems, providing revisions of holdings, proper management and safeguarding of museum collections. At the same time, contactless ElarScans are professional assistants for creating digital collections of any «inconvenient to scan» small and midsize museum items including coins, medals, cutlery, handworks, etc. Special benefits of ElarScan here are fast single-shot digitizing (not sensitive to slow movement of object) and macroscan feature: to enlarge a small item while scanning by just pressing one button. Unique «manuscript» models of ElarScan with extra large motorized cradles allow scanning of extra thick volumes: historical archives keep old parish and census registers of half a meter thick and even thicker.
How to call ElarScan at banks?
Usual meaning of a «bank scanner» is far from document digitizing — it is perhaps a kind of banknote checker or security x-raying gates at the bank’s entrance. But what is a «scanner of client’s dossiers» or «financial report digitizer» if it is not an ElarScan? Manufacturers tried to call it a «dossier-scanner», but it is hard to pronounce. Quite a new term of «planscan» (from «planetary scanner») sounds sharp still, but used more and more often — it is not as difficult to say as the volcano «Eyjafjallajökull» in Iceland.
Playing by the rules
There are more and more ElarScan users at financial and juridicial spheres where regulations do not allow the unbinding of volumes or stitched files. Balance sheets and accounting reports are classic digitizing tasks of our «accountant’s scanner». Planetary scanners work at arbitrary and general courts as «scanner of court cases», providing access to documents without tedious and expensive paper copying. Client dossiers and files at insurance or juridicial institutions are relatively new, but already important tasks for ElarScans. In general, to digitize documents without breaking the rules for their retention and handling is a key feature of ElarScan, so these kinds of regulations executor should be called a «compliant digitizer» or just «a fair play scanner».