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council libraries book scanning

According to voicesforthelibrary.org.uk over 500 UK public libraries out of the nation’s 4500 are currently facing the threat of closure. With library cut backs determined by a local authority and budgetary pressures, one way libraries can cut costs is by investing in book scanning. What does this mean for the libraries at risk?

Book Scanning

Book scanning is the process of converting books into eBook format suitable for iBook, Kindle and eReaders. eBooks have seen a rise in popularity over the past decade with more and more books being made available in this format.

How This Helps

Libraries can benefit from book scanning in many ways. Firstly, costs can be reduced by saving on the amounts of space needed. Converting many books into a digital format helps reduce the square footage taken up by physical items. This allows local authorities to save on the amount of money spent on running a property. These spaces can then be used for other purposes such as community functions.

Under the 1964 Public and Libraries and Museums Act, libraries have to offer a comprehensive and efficient library service for free. Converting books into a digital format and bringing local libraries into the future helps reduce costs and ensures that laws aren’t being broken.

Some libraries have archives full of old books, files and documents. Transforming these helps bring old items into the public eye, and gives life to old books that previously sat collecting dust. Old books also tend to be fragile. Digitising them ensures that they are not damaged by rough handling or sticky fingers.

The digitisation of books also helps ensure that libraries are not lost if a physical building succumbs to damage such as fire. With all files stored online and accessible on any device, library collections can officially stand the test of time with Pearl Scans bespoke book scanning service.

The Scanning Service

Pearl Scan Solutions scans a wide range of books, transforming them into any required format. The book scanning service can be tailored to meet the needs of libraries of all sizes. Using two different methods, bound and unbound scanning using either a document feed scanner or upright scanner, no file is too big or small to be converted. Each scanning process carries its own benefits, which can help libraries and local authorities save substantial amounts of money.

If you can’t find the information you need, don’t hesitate to get in touch for a free no obligation project quote. How do you think the book scanning process can benefit libraries and local authorities? Share your thoughts with us on social media!

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Cloud Storage

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing allows you to access any data and applications you like as long as you are connected to the Internet. The official definition from the National Institute of Standard and Technology defines cloud computing as “a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort, or service provider interaction.”

How Does This Link To Storage?

To put it simply, without cloud computing there would be no cloud storage. Cloud storage solutions are a branch of cloud computing developed exponentially over the last few years.

So What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage is a way to save information to the Internet. Cloud computing services store this information in a secure online location. It offers a quicker, easier and safer backup system than traditional file storage methods. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can access your files and programmes from any computer or device, anywhere in the world.

Usually divided by the types of files it handles, cloud storage comes in a variety of types, with some systems only designed for a particular end; to support specific files such as videos, documents, emails and pictures. Most cloud systems however, will store nearly any type of digital file.

Cloud Storage Categories

Cloud storage systems are divided into two categories; small and large. Smaller systems deal with the needs of non-organizations – the average Internet user. Larger systems tend to work solely with businesses to store millions of files.

Smaller systems are housed in data centres, which can contain dozens of computers at once. Larger systems for corporate clients require a network of data centres, each housed in its own building the size of a warehouse.

Requirements

At least one data centre connected to the Internet is required for a cloud storage system to store files to the cloud. In order to access files sent you have to go through a dedicated web interface.

Halogen Cloud

Halogen Cloud is Pearl Scan Solution’s very own in-house designed cloud storage system.

Understanding that each client has individual needs, Halogen Cloud is a bespoke service complete with superior features such as company branding. Training can also be provided if required and for those not so IT minded, don’t worry, the service includes all administrative requirements such as system upgrades to keep you riding the cutting wave of cloud technology with ease.

What is your favourite cloud management system? Let us know on social media!

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Facts about e Books

It seems that e-books have appeared almost from nowhere. This blog looks at little known and significant facts about e-books – the digital book revolution - that every avid reader should be aware of.

The first e-book was patented in 1949 by a Spanish teacher, Angela Ruiz who wanted to decrease the number of books her students had to carry to school. In recent years, e-books have boomed, especially with the introduction of products such as the Amazon Kindle which allows users to instantly download a book and begin reading in seconds. Find out some little known facts about the e-book revolution that you have probably never heard.

Environmentally friendly

E-books are good for the environment. One tree can normally produce 50 books. This would mean that e-book readers would only have to read 50 books to save a tree. Instead of buying 50 paperbacks or hardbacks and let them gather dust on your bookshelf, why not invest in a Kindle and stop trees from being used for paper?

Electronic publishing saves paper. For example, one weekly issue of the New York Times consumes 75,000 trees. One year’s worth of Sunday papers produced by the New York Times destroys and consumes more than 3,900,000 trees. It’s much more environmentally friendly to subscribe online.

Big Books Sell

According to PEW Research, 75% of people between 16-29 have read a printed book in the last year, with the younger generation preferring digital products – with the exception of e-books. Mark Coker, Founder of Smashwords found that e-books that have over 100,000 words sell significantly more than e- books that have under 50,000 words.

E-books Make More Money for Publishers

When it comes to profit margins, e-books generate a higher profit margin than hardback books. A hardback has a profit of 41% for publishers, making roughly $5.50 for each book sold. E-books can make publishers nearly $8 per sale, creating a 75% profit margin. That is an increase of 34%! Publishers can even make money from books released decades ago, by converting a new edition and launching it digitally.

Long Odds on Becoming a Bestseller

Only a tiny proportion of the market is making serious money from their efforts. Hugh Howey’s Author Earning report found that 100 authors made $100,000 or more from publishing e-books. With roughly 390,000 e-books being sold in the U.S. alone according to Bowker research, the chances of making $100,000 or more from an e-book are very slim.

Do you read E-books? What do you like about them? Share your thoughts with us on social media!

Tagged in: book scanning e-books
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 going paperless

Paper and ink documents require a huge amount of resources and energy, as opposed to their digitalised counterparts which can be created, stored and accessed with zero paper or chemicals. Even though ink printers are common, they are worse for the environment than many realise. Read more and discover the true environmental cost of paper and ink printing.

Ink

When it comes to inks, especially litho inks, there are some main areas of concern - the first is heavy metals. Certain pigments contain copper, zinc and barium which can be hazardous to the environment and workers’ health. In general metallic and fluorescent inks can be toxic. Metallic inks do not decompose easily and the heavy metal elements cause problems by seeping into groundwater and other natural areas. Petroleum based inks emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as they dry. Dangerous to humans and a contributor to global warming, this comes from web based printing such as heatset.

Soya can typically be found in oil, sheet-fed inks. Normally made up of two parts linseed, one part Soya, such inks reduce worker and environmental hazards due to being vegetable oil based. However, the expansion of the Soya industry is something that is controversial in itself. Waste ink can be recycled and made into low grade fuel, or mixed to form black ink and reused. However ink is toxic, so much so it is usually put in concrete in special hazardous waste landfill sites.

enviorment

Paper

Everywhere we go, there is paper. From newspapers to magazines, billboards and posters – it is unavoidable. However, paper has more of an impact upon the environment than many would believe.

Over 30 million acres of forest is destroyed annually with 40% of the world’s commercially cut timber used for paper production. Pulpwood plantations and mills also endanger and destroy natural habitats of species that live in these forests.

The entire lifecycle of paper is environmentally damaging. Starting with a tree being cut down and ending in being burnt, which emits carbon dioxide. When it decomposes in a landfill it also emits the greenhouse gas methane.

Digitisation

Switching to a paperless office, by digitalising all physical paper documents, businesses can save money and contribute to a healthier environment. With 10 million tonnes of paper used per year, digital operations not only drastically reduce this figure, it also allows for increased productivity and a boost in staff morale – with less time spent on menial tasks such as searching for documents.

Switching to digital operations can help companies struggling for office space. Paperless offices also make it easier to increase operations, with online document services allowing quick and easy access to scanned items.

Did you know how much paper and ink can affect the environment? Are you now considering joining the paperless revolution? Continue reading about paperless office solutions.

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scanning of employee survey

Many companies are customer focused, and as such customer feedback surveys are automatically used regularly to improve services and customer satisfaction. But how often do businesses consider the satisfaction of its workforce?

Keeping employees happy is just as important as ensuring customer or client satisfaction. After all, your staff are the face of the business and if they are unhappy in their work, it will often be apparent to customers.

Anonymous employee surveys can provide an invaluable insight into the thoughts, experiences and opinions of staff. Staff members will feel more comfortable being truthful in a survey or questionnaire than face to face with managers. Asking for their suggestions on how to improve the employee and customer experience is also beneficial for employers. Below we’ve listed just some of the advantages of conducting employee surveys.

Increase morale and productivity

Just by making the effort to ask employees for their opinions and giving them an opportunity to voice their concerns can have a positive effect on the workforce. By conducting a satisfaction survey, employee motivation, dedication and morale will increase. Conducting a staff survey makes employees feel valued as a person, and flattered that management or the owners of the company are asking for their help in improving business operations.

employees moraleUncover issues you aren’t aware of

While some employees are quick to report any issues or concerns regarding other members of staff or difficult working procedures, many will try and deal with problems themselves. Whether they are shy or don’t want to appear to be causing trouble, many employees feel uncomfortable making suggestions to management in person. Giving staff an outlet to tell management about any issues anonymously is a vital tool for finding out what’s really going on within the business. There might be problems arising that you would have never found out about unless you conducted an employee survey. Gain honest, truthful opinions about the company as a whole and how happy staff are in their job roles.

Decrease staff turnover – save time and money

Companies who make an effort to keep their staff happy are more likely to keep their employees for a longer period of time. However, it’s important after doing the employee survey that actions are taken so staff don’t feel as though their views are ignored. If suggestions are taken on board, employee satisfaction will increase and workers are less likely to look for work elsewhere.

Improve your business

Once you have collected and processed the data from the employee survey, you have an invaluable business tool. You will be in possession of a large number of opinions and suggestions from the very people who run and understand the company. They might suggest things you haven’t thought of yourself which could improve efficiency and productivity. Ultimately, taking suggestions on board from your staff will have an impact on your products or services for customers. Happy employees = happy customers!

Are you thinking about conducting an employee survey? Speak to the team at Pearl Scan to make the data capture process simple and efficient.

 

Document Scanning by Pearl Scan


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Nationwide: 0845 22 55 923          London: 0207 183 1885
Manchester: 0161 832 7991         Birmingham: 0121 285 1900

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