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Digital ReeL Microfilm Conversion Solution Selected and Implemented by Watsonville Public Library

Watsonville selected Digital ReeL because it was priced competitively. It offers a simple, web-based interface that delivers online access to the historical newspaper archive, opening the information up to on-site and remote visitors like never before.

BMI Imaging Systems, a leading provider of microfilm conversion solutions, microfilm scanners and document management solutions, announced today that Watsonville Public Library has selected and implemented Digital ReeL.

The Watsonville Public Library has been serving the City’s population of 50,000 residents for over 100 years .The Watsonville historical newspapers are an important aspect of the city’s past, so the Library’s goal was to preserve its historical data and provide its patrons simple, open access to its archive. Digitally converting the newspaper’s archive from microfilm to an easily accessible digital solution became a priority.

“Watsonville selected Digital ReeL because it was priced competitively. It offers a simple, web-based interface that delivers online access to the historical newspaper archive, opening the information up to on-site and remote visitors like never before,” states Heather Geddes, Principal Librarian.

Geddes states, “One of the first things we did is contact the newspaper publisher and request permission to post the newspaper archive online. We received permission as long as we were at least one year behind the current year.”

“A solution that would be online-ready and accessible from our web-site was key to unlocking this archive for all patrons, regardless of their location,” Geddes states. “BMI’s Digital ReeL offered a full-text searchable Internet-based interface that made it the right solution for our library archive, right now.”

Today, the Watsonville Historical Newspaper Archive (1864-2012) is digital and available online (access the digital newspaper microfilm archive here; scroll down to Watsonville Historical Newspaper Archive). Anyone who visits the Watsonville Public Library web-site can access this archive. Geddes states, “The BMI staff was incredibly supportive and informative with answering our questions. Their experience with other library newspaper archives helped them understand our requirements.”

Since the digital newspaper archive solution has been live (2016), there has been an average of 25,000+ image requests per month on the Watsonville digital newspaper portal. The archive is now available from anywhere at any time and more people than ever can simultaneously access the archive.

With Digital ReeL, the Library has the assurance that its digital newspaper archive won’t degrade in the future.

Read the full newspaper microfilm conversion case study here.

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