Jackson Local Schools, Ohio Embraces Digital ReeL for Microfilm and Microfiche Scanning Solution

Student and employment records digitally accessed from a software application that resembles a physical microfilm reader; users optimize the quality of difficult- to-read images with adjustable grayscale

Sunnyvale, California – October 18, 2010 – BMI Imaging Systems, a leading provider of document management, microfilm conversion and microfiche scanning solutions, announced that Jackson Local Schools has selected BMI Imaging’s Digital ReeL as its microfilm and microfiche scanning solution.

Located in Massillon, Ohio, Jackson Local Schools has received multiple recognitions, including being ranked in the nation’s top 5% by Newsweek and achieving a graduation rate of 99.8% with over 87% seeking higher education.

Jackson had archived its student records and employment records on microfilm and microfiche. Searching for records on microfilm was a slow and cumbersome process and when a microfilm reader broke, the school had to make a decision: invest their limited dollars in replacing the reader printer or invest in a microfilm and microfiche scanning solution. George Woods, Jackson Local Schools District Technology Facilitator, states “when our microfilm reader broke, we faced a $6,000 outlay to replace the machine. Some of our microfilm rolls were beginning to erode and we would have likely encountered another investment to duplicate those rolls.” Woods researched digital microfilm and microfiche scanning solutions as an alternative to investing limited budget dollars in maintaining a cumbersome microfilm technology.

After researching a few alternatives, Jackson Local Schools selected BMI Imaging’s Digital ReeL microfilm and microfiche scanning solution because it was affordable and easy-to-implement. Woods explains that, “we discovered Digital ReeL, contacted BMI and viewed an online demonstration. We then shipped BMI a sample microfilm roll and had them convert a sample of our records to Digital ReeL. We determined that Digital ReeL was the right solution for us and it was the most affordable option we found that met our requirements.”

Jackson Local Schools shipped over 100 microfilm rolls to BMI where the records were digitally converted. BMI then shipped the 5 terabytes of digital microfilm and microfiche back to Jackson along with the Digital ReeL software.

Five Jackson workstations can access Digital ReeL, which enables employees to access records from a computer interface that looks like a physical microfilm reader. Users can scroll through digital microfilm rolls just like they would on a physical machine. Retrieval times have been drastically reduced because users are no longer chasing records off-site or fumbling with physical microfilm.

Security is important due to the sensitive nature of student and employment records. Woods states, “We are able to offer each department access to only their set of records using the security settings of Digital ReeL. For example, our secretaries can respond to former students looking for student transcripts, gaining access to only the digital microfilm and microfiche with these records. Our payroll staff can access only the digital microfilm with employment records.”

It is not uncommon for records archived on microfilm to be difficult, even impossible to read. Jackson faced this problem and wanted a microfilm and microfiche scanning solution that would enhance the quality of their entire record archive. Most microfilm and microfiche scanning services simply convert records to TIFF or PDF digital documents that are no easier to read than images on microfilm. Digital ReeL offers a unique image enhancement feature called adjustable grayscale. Woods states, “Our users would access a record and would be frustrated because they couldn’t read it. I would use Digital ReeL’s adjustable grayscale feature and the user would be surprised to see that everything would suddenly be visible.”

Woods continues, “Digital ReeL makes it easy for our workers to provide requested records free of sensitive information. A Jackson employee can quickly draw a box around sensitive information and completely block it out before emailing or printing the record.”

Download the Jackson Local Schools Case Study

About BMI Imaging’s Digital ReeL

Digital ReeL is both a service and a software application. Digital ReeL is a microfilm and microfiche scanning solution that includes a software application specifically designed for microfilm, microfiche and aperture card digital images. The Digital ReeL interface mimics the look of a reader printer. BMI’s Digital ReeL microfilm and microfiche scanning service creates an exact digital replica of each microfilm roll, thereby maintaining the archival integrity of the original microfilming process. Digital ReeL provides a unique grayscale adjustability that enables users to manually adjust the brightness and contrast settings of an image to optimize it prior to printing, emailing or saving as a PDF file. The Digital ReeL application is available as software installed at the organization’s site or can be accessed from a workstation with a web browser. In addition, BMI offers Digital ReeL as a hosted service – users store their digitally converted images with BMI, accessing their images from the Digital ReeL Web interface.

About BMI Imaging

Since 1958, BMI Imaging Systems has been a leader in microfilm conversion, microfiche scanning and document management solutions. BMI offers industry-leading scanning products from Canon and the ApplicationXtender document management product line from EMC Corporation. In addition, BMI has developed the Digital ReeL microfilm and microfiche scanning solution, which is available nationwide. Today, BMI staff consists of 80 employees, many who have been with BMI for decades. BMI converts an average of 3 million images per month. BMI serves commercial and government agencies throughout the United States and has developed a customer list of more than 2,000 accounts. BMI is headquartered just outside San Francisco in Sunnyvale, California, with an additional production and sales facility in Sacramento, California.