Somerset County Library System to open digital preservation lab

The Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) will be hosting an open house grand opening event for the System’s first digital preservation lab. The event will be hosted on Thursday, Aug. 31 from 4-7 p.m. at the Montgomery branch.

“We are so excited to officially open SCLSNJ’s Digital Preservation Lab,” said Lynn Hoffman, deputy director. “The public library stands for giving people access to information and materials, whether that’s accessing treasured family memories trapped in out-of-date formats, or helping people learn about Somerset County’s rich history through digitized documents and artifacts. The Digital Preservation Lab provides tools our community members can use that continue to broaden access.”

SCLSNJ’s Digital Preservation Lab is a multifunctional space designed to help the community learn, create, collaborate, and explore with technology. The Lab provides equipment for digitizing home movies, scanning photographs or slides, and much more. It is available as a self-guided model with step-by-step instructions provided, but customers are able to and encouraged to control their archival process from start to finish, according to SCLSNJ.

“The SCLSNJ Digital Preservation Lab webpage has extensive information on what equipment, software, and resources are available in the self-guided space, and visitors are strongly encouraged to review the site prior to making a reservation,” said Elizabete Pata, branch manager. “Currently, we offer equipment for converting various types of media into digital files including: 8mm and super 8 film; audio cassettes; non-copyrighted CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, film (35mm strips, mounted slides, and medium format strips); and printed materials (photographs, scrapbook pages, etc.).”

The Lab opens 30 minutes after the library opens each day, and closes one hour prior to the library’s closing. The Lab is closed on Sundays.

Library hours are Monday to Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Take a virtual tour of the Lab:

In addition to the Lab being a resource for customers to digitize memories for personal use, the Library also hopes to archive some of these memories in their growing community memory database.

“The Montgomery Digitization Lab will afford local history groups the opportunity to preserve some of the memories they have in their collections and make it available to a wider audience,” said Rebecca Sandoval, director of operations. “SCLSNJ is committed to building a community memory via our digital and historical collections. We’ve had members of the Somerset County community share personal photographs, quilts, documents and other artifacts that are now housed in our online Library. These materials are valuable to future researchers, and we are creating history as we speak.”

Explore archives: Submit a personal memory to our growing collection:

The Montgomery branch is located at 100 Community Drive in Skillman. For questions, call (908) 458-8430 or email To discover all SCLSNJ has to offer, visit or connect with SCLSNJ on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), or YouTube.

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