UC Berkeley launches scanning service to turn print material into electronic format

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In an effort to help make resources more readily available, UC Berkeley is now offering a scanning service which will turn print material into an electronic format, making it more accessible to campus faculty.

The service, launched in October, is an expansion of a service established in 2012 which transformed hard copy materials into digital copies for the Disabled Students’ Program, or DSP, community. This update to the scanning service now includes all faculty members, instructors and visiting scholars with print disabilities, according to a UC Berkeley Library press release.

“I am blind myself, and so this service is a huge improvement for me,” said Georgina Kleege, a campus English professor, in an email.  “In the past, if there was a book or article in the library which was not already available in electronic form I would have to get it and scan it myself, which can be very time-consuming. That’s time I could be spending doing research, reading student papers, preparing lectures.

Before the October 2019 scanning service expansion, only DSP students were able to use the scanning services. Faculty members are just now being included because they were not adequately represented until recently, according to Elizabeth Dupuis, senior associate university librarian for educational initiatives.

In 2017, Dupuis collaborated with other library partners to ensure the scanning service would serve the needs of faculty, according to the UC Berkeley Library press release. By consulting with campus experts about “accessibility and compliance,” Dupuis was able to cover “all the important parts in a streamlined process,” Dupuis said in an email. 

“There are many advantages to an electronic text over a physical one. It’s easier to carry around, for one thing,” Kleege explained in the email. “And also, it’s easier to search the text for specific information, and to cut and paste material that you might want to cite in an article. So in that way, the more electronic texts in the library’s collection the better for everyone.”

The scanning service will be available for those who complete the library request form. If approved, members can then begin requesting scans through OskiCat, UC Berkeley Library’s online catalog, or at any of the circulation desks of participating libraries, according to the press release.

A disability could be physical or mental, which significantly limits engagement in everyday activities, according to Dupuis. She said in the email that, according to many studies, around 12% of the American population has a disability. Dupuis added that the likelihood of developing a disability may increase with age.

“This program anticipates that a person’s situation may evolve over time and they can sign up for this service when it matches their needs,” Dupuis said in the email. “This service is an important part of building an inclusive community of learners where all have access to the Library’s scholarly resources with as few barriers as possible.”

Contact Audry Jeong at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @audryjng_dc.