Media Preservation Station

As of Friday, July 12 at 10:45 am, the Media Preservation Station is temporarily unavailable due to an unexpected technical issue. We will remove this note once the issue has been resolved.

Digitize and preserve different types of media—such as VHS tapes, cassette tapes, film negatives, and more—at the Creative Studio’s Media Preservation Station, located on the third floor of the Main Library. The station features a VCR, cassette player, and high-quality scanner capable of scanning documents, photos, 35mm negatives, 120/medium format negatives, and slides.

Media Preservation Station in the Creative Studio

Making your reservation

Call 708.383.8200 (press 2) or ask in person at any service desk

  • Reserve for up to 3 consecutive hours during Main Library open hours (please note: Creative Studio computers shut down 30 minutes before closing); extensions are not available.
  • Scheduling in advance is recommended; reservations can be made up to four weeks in advance.
  • Day-of reservations are available if the station is not already reserved.
  • Reservations may be released for use by others if you are 15 or more minutes late.
  • To change or cancel a reservation, please tell us as soon as possible. Contact us now or call 708.383.8200 (press 2).

Using the station

Do-it-yourself environment

Want additional guidance from staff at this station? Sign up for a one-on-one, 30-minute Learning Lab appointment to learn more about using software available at this station. Please note: In-depth, day-of assistance is not available.

Auxiliary equipment (stored in the equipment cabinet)

While some preservation equipment is available at the station, additional equipment (listed below) is stored in a locked cabinet. To use this equipment, please visit the third-floor service desk. Staff will temporarily hold onto a library card or ID while equipment is in use.

  • Cassette player
  • Film negative and slide scanning attachments
  • Floppy disk reader
  • New! KODAK REELS 8 mm and Super 8 Film Digitizer (Staff training required to learn how to use this equipment. Request a Learning Lab appointment »)
  • MiniDV digitization toolbox (for use only at the Media Editing Station)

Planning ahead

  • BEFORE:
  • DURING: 
    • We recommend holding negatives carefully on the edges and using cotton or non-latex gloves when possible. 
    • Media files are big! Plan to use 30 minutes at the end of your session to save files to your external hard drive.
  • AFTER: For everyone’s privacy, all files are removed from library computers at the end of each session.