The Watsonville Public Library has been serving the City’s population of 50,000 residents for over 100 years. It is a place where community members can gather information, explore the Town’s history, and attend local events.
The Watsonville historical newspapers are an important aspect of the city’s past, so the Library’s goal was to preserve its historical data and provide its patrons simple, open access to its archive.
Heather Geddes, Principal Librarian, states “We had one local copy of our historical newspapers on microfilm. The microfilm was degrading and we had to pay for maintenance on two older microfilm reader machines. We also regularly received calls from out of the area asking for obituary information or information about a relative. Too much staff time was spent looking for this information.”
Digitally converting the newspaper’s archive from microfilm to an easily accessible digital solution became a priority. “Watsonville selected Digital ReeL because it was priced competitively. It offers a simple, web-based interface that delivers online access to the historical newspaper archive, opening the information up to on-site and remote visitors like never before,” Geddes says.