Last week, at the American Library Association Meeting, Atiz Innovation, Inc. unveiled their new book scanning system called the BookDrive Pro. The new system is an enhanced version of their previous model, the BookDrive DIY and designed to support the movement to digitize books. Both models use digital SLR cameras and a v-shaped book cradle to eliminate page curvature issues and damage to the book spine. To create the BookDrive Pro, Atiz worked with its library customers to resolve the weaknesses associated with the BookDrive DIY. The Atiz website provides comparison diagrams of the enhancements to the new model which include: a more ergonomic design, automatic camera positioning, double security locking mechanism for cameras, LED lighting panels for more even light distribution, and an Auto Capture Switch to automatically initiate scanning when a page has been turned. According to the press release, there are currently 500 BookDrive units in place across the world and Atiz expects to double their sales in 2009.
The continued digitization of library collections provides some interesting opportunities and challenges for college stores. On the one side, there are new opportunities for libraries and college stores to work together and share revenue, for instance, creating print-on-demand versions of items that have been scanned (where copyright allows, of course). As an example, McMaster University Titles Bookstore has created such a partnership with their library and is producing copies of some scanned, first edition classics that were signed by the original authors for resale, with a revenue share between the store and the library. What if as a collection of institutions (libraries and stores) we could share such collections in digital format, allowing the content to be sold through any store? As more books are digitized by libraries, and often made available through Google, what will be the impact on book retailers? What are the other opportunities for stores under these new business and content distribution models?