Case Study: Buffalo & Erie Public Library

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Many old newspaper records and other historical archives are only available on microfilm, a medium that has traditionally required a clunky, difficult-to-use microfilm reader. When the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library wanted to make their archives more user-friendly, they came to Biel’s for a solution that would make a difference for their visitors.


For most people, when they think about a library the first image that appears in their mind is a room of endless shelves filled with books upon books. But when you dig a bit deeper you remember that libraries offer so much more than just books. A good library is a central repository of information, a place that keeps a record of our lives and times. Consider the microfilm room. This special library department contains seemingly endless archives of local, regional, and sometimes even national newspapers that allow you to quickly travel back through time and see what was making headlines on any given day in the past. The microfilm room at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (BECPL) is a beloved resource that offers thousands of rolls of microfilm, containing a robust world of historical information and insight. But in order to access the information on these microfilms, a dedicated microfilm reader is required. These old machines are very large and cumbersome to use, not at all intuitive, and oftentimes require costly repairs. BECPL approached Biel’s with hopes of finding a way to bring their microfilmed archives into the 21st century, thereby creating a more modern, user-friendly experience for their visitors.


After undergoing a full consultation with BECPL, we recommended that they adopt the Scan Pro 800, one of our most popular and easy-to-use digital microfilm viewers. The Scan Pro 800 is an industry leader known for its heavy-duty steel construction that can withstand the daily wear and tear associated with over 3 million library visitors per year, intuitive interface that makes finding specific information much more efficient, ability to work with any standard computer monitor, and, perhaps most importantly, reasonable price point. For added value and peace of mind, we also included a five-year maintenance contract with each machine, so BECPL will never have to worry about the hassles of dealing with broken machines.


With the new Scan Pro 800 machines installed, BECPL patrons now enjoy a premium experience when exploring the library’s archive collections. They can save and email themselves particular images or easily store pertinent information on a flash drive. They can even bring in their own microfilm collections from home! Unlike some of the older microfilm readers, the Scan Pro 800 is also compatible with microfiche, so now the library’s entire collection of archived film materials is 100% accessible and ready to view at a moment’s notice. Easy. Intuitive. Cost-effective. Worry-free. The Scan Pro 800 is everything the BECPL wanted. At InStream, we’re proud that we were able to provide such a powerful solution that will help keep the history of our area alive for generations to come.

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