April 23, 2018

Book Scanners | Product Spotlight

Whether you need a flatbed scanner integrated with a payment system for patron use, or one that will protect rare oversize maps while creating a digital record, there’s a scanner for your library. Today’s book scanners are fast (many can scan a page in under two seconds) and provide optical resolution of up to 800 dots per inch (dpi) on sheets reaching a massive 35″ x 25″ in size. With such a wealth of options, your only problem may be deciding which scanner to choose. LJ has highlighted some of the newest offerings from a number of providers.


PRODUCTS: zeta, 12000 and 14000 series, OS15000, Qidenus Technologies
COMPANY: Crowley Company, Frederick, MD

The Crowley Company offers scanner for patrons as well as for back office/archival project use. Cheri Baker, Crowley’s director of communications, cites German storage systems provider Zeutschel for its “very high-image quality, its camera and lighting system, and its many options.” For patrons (aka “walk up” or “on demand” users), “The zeta is by far the most popular, as it’s at an affordable price point and is very user-friendly for a generation that is tablet- and touch screen–savvy,” Baker comments. The zeta is used by the Berlin State Library and the British Film Institute’s Reuben Library, among other clients. A Red Dot product design winner in 2012, the zeta is in the $10,000 price range.

Zeutschel also offers a 12000 series, which has a wide variety of image sizes and cradle options and allows for scans (and copies) of larger material. Both the zeta and the 12000 models have multiple output options, including USB, email, and printer. And for back office/archival use, Zeutschel recently launched the OS15000, which Baker describes as “cost-effective and ideal for smaller collections.” Zeutschel also produces the 14000 series of scanners, which were designed for special collections and developed to meet specs for the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Scanners in the 12000 and 14000 series run from $24,000 to $100,000-plus, depending on specifications.

Finally, Vienna’s Qidenus Technologies “recently reengineered its line of book scanners and now offers a manual, semimanual, and robotic line of book scanners,” according to Baker. These production-level scanners come with V-shaped cradles in various sizes and are used by the Royal Library of Denmark and the National Library of Abu Dhabi, among others. Qidenus scanners range in price from about $28,000 to $110,000.


PRODUCTS: Book ScanCenter
COMPANY: Scannx, Pleasanton, CA

Scannx launched its first product—Book ScanCenter—just two years ago, but the company’s patron-focused scanners are already illustrating how cloud-based document capture and document delivery could begin to displace paper-based copiers. Its self-service, industrial-grade Book ScanCenter, Book ScanCenter Elite, and Book ScanCenter Elite+ units feature an intuitive touch screen interface that guides users through the process of scanning a book or article, saving it in a variety of formats—including Microsoft Word documents, JPEG, TIFF, or PNG files, or searchable PDFs generated via optical character recognition (OCR) using integrated ABBYY multilingual FineReader Engine software.

Patrons can then send their document via email or fax, save it on a USB flash drive, smartphone, or tablet, upload it to DropBox, Google Docs, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), an FTP site, or a network folder, or send it to a printer. Librarians can use ScanCenters to fulfill interlibrary loan requests via OCLC Article Exchange and ILLiad, through a partnership between Scannx and OCLC.

The beveled edge on the front of a ScanCenter model makes it possible to scan books without damaging their spines. The Book ScanCenter Elite+ model also includes a 45 page-per-minute simplex automatic document feeder.

The units support ITC and Jamex coin and debit card systems, as well as print management systems from vendors including Pharos, Envisionware, and P-Counter. However, many ScanCenter users opt to go paperless, saving on expenses associated with copier and printer upkeep. Since its 2012 launch, Scannx equipment has processed more than 13 million pages, and “far less than two percent” of those pages were sent to printers, notes John Dexter, president of Scannx. Pricing for the basic ScanCenter units begins at $4,995, or they can be leased for $100 per month.

PRODUCTS: Bookeye, Click Mini
COMPANY: Digital Library Systems Group (DLSG) at Image Access, Boca Raton, FL

DLSG at Image Access has a number of scanners, but one of its most high-tech offering is the Bookeye 4, an overhead scanner that can scan an A2 page (bed size 17″ x 24″) at a resolution of 200 dpi in less than two seconds. The Bookeye 4 uses flat mirrors to reduce distortion at the gutter and edges of the image; the mirrors, rather than the lens or sensors, rotate to capture the image.

The Bookeye 4 book scanner is also available in an A1 (bed size 35″ x 25″) model; both versions have V-shaped cradles that can be flattened for unbound materials. Company CEO Ted Webb emphasizes the scanner’s high resolution, noting that when measured in line pairs per millimeter, “The Bookeye 4’s 600 dpi option produces eight line pairs per millimeter, which is higher than any other planetary (faceup) scanner in the market.”

Bookeye scanners are used at the libraries of Georgetown University, the University of Southern California, and the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, among others. The Bookeye 4 starts at $17,799.

DLSG at Image Access also just launched the Click Mini, a version of its faceup Click scanner. The Click Mini scans pages up to 13″ x 19.1″ and costs $3,999.

PRODUCTS: book2net, Spirit Walk-Up, V-Scan Cobra 110°
COMPANY: Ristech Company Inc, Burlington, Ontario

In addition to the book2net kiosk and the Spirit Walk-Up book scanner, Ristech’s book2net series also includes the V-Scan Cobra 110°, which launched in 2012 and was developed in conjunction with Germany’s Bavarian State Library, the National Archive of Sweden, and the British Library. Designed for rare materials, the Cobra 110°’s adjustable V-shaped cradle offers spine support for fragile books and can scan pages up to 18″ x 24″ in size. With its two 40 megapixel CCD sensors, the Cobra 110° can capture images at an optical resolution of up to 800 dpi.

The Cobra is used by Canada’s McGill University Libraries as well as at museum and universities throughout Europe. Prices start in the $70,000s.

PRODUCTS: BookScan Station
COMPANY: iVina Corporation, Newark, CA

For use by both patrons and staff, iVina’s BookScan Station features a touch screen computer integrated with a USB2.0 flatbed scanner that can scan pages up to 11.8″ x 17″ in size. BookScan and its higher speed counterpart, BookScan Professional, incorporate the ABBYY FineReader Engine for OCR. The engine detects French, Italian, German, and Spanish, as well as English-language text. BookScan Station supports several online and offline payment systems, making it especially suitable for patrons.

The BookScan Station system starts at under $3,995; BookScan Station Professional starts at under $4,995, and both come with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. BookScan scanners are used by numerous university libraries, including the University of California, Berkeley; Yale University; the University of Illinois; and several public library systems.

COMPANY: Kirtas Technologies, Victor, NY

Kirtas is known for its Kabis book scanners, which boast robotic arms with a vacuum head that gently lifts and turns pages. Kirtas recently introduced the latest addition to the family, the Kabis 700. This semiautomatic manual page turning scanner has “the same V-cradle, cameras, finishing technology, and software as the Kabis I, II, and III,” says Michael Maxwell, Kirtas’s director of worldwide sales, but the Kabis 700 can also produce A3-sized pages (11.7″ x 16.5″) in either a portrait or landscape view (the Kabis I, II, and III scan pages up to 11″ x 14″ in size).

The Kabis 700 can scan 400–800 pages per hour and, says Maxwell, is especially suited to “customers who want the high image quality of the Kabis but don’t need the productivity of the Kabis I, II, or III.” The Kabis 700 starts at under $45,000.

Kirtas book scanners are used at the University of Hong Kong and University of Bologna Libraries, as well as at the National Library of Ireland, Galway.

Elizabeth Michaelson is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She previously worked as a librarian in the Queens Library system

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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  1. Karen Nipps says:

    My institution bought a Zeta Bookcopy in 2012 for a project. While it does take a nice scan, It has caused us no end of troubles. It is complicated to install, it is not as intuitive as it is made out to be, we found the screen for manipulating the images often unresponsive, turning it on and off is problematic, there is no manual, there is little support,. What’s more, we had to have it replaced in 2013 and the “new” one that was sent was just as problematic. When I recently spoke to service about a new problem (I could only turn the machine off by unplugging it), it was explained to me that the USB panel had failed and I was quoted a $1,500.00 repair charge. It is going to recycling.