The 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 and slides and much more. It is available as a self-guided model, meaning we provide step-by-step instructions, but you control the process from start to finish.
The Digital Preservation Lab is located in the Montgomery branch of SCLSNJ. We offer equipment for converting various types of media into digital files including:
- 8mm and Super 8 film
- Audio cassettes
- Non-copyrighted CD / DVD
- Film (35mm strips, mounted slides, and medium format strips)
- Printed materials (such as photographs, scrapbook pages, etc.) up to 8.5×11.7″
We also have software to edit audio, video and photo files.
**Please call ahead to ensure your needed equipment is in good working order prior to your visit**
How do I get started?
Lab reservations can be made using a valid SCLSNJ card on our online room reservation system. Staff can direct you to our quick-start guides for digital conversion, and can help you find books or online tutorials for whatever you are interested in learning.
Access to online courses to help with digitization are available to Library cardholders. LinkedIn Learning and Udemy are online learning companies that help anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Log in with your library card number and PIN to get started.
The Lab opens 30 minutes after the Library opens each day, and closes 1 hour prior to the Library’s closing. The Lab is unavailable on Sundays.
Monday 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Tuesday 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Wednesday 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Thursday 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: (908) 458-8433
Address: 100 Community Drive, Skillman, NJ 08858
Click here to view Equipment List
Click here to view User Guides
Click here to view the Lab Guidelines
The Lab is a multi-functional space designed to help the community learn, create, preserve and collaborate with technology.
The Lab is open to all SCLSNJ cardholders who have reserved the space using our online reservation system. If you don’t qualify for a free card, please reach out to us to make a reservation. If you have questions before making a reservation, please stop by the branch, call 908-458-8433, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no charge to use Lab equipment. Patrons are welcome to save their files on their own cloud storage, external drive, or USB during their Lab reservations. The library does not provide storage drives, neither for sale or to borrow, to save digital files.
We encourage patrons using the space to review our Lab Guides prior to their reservations to familiarize themselves with the guides, and to understand the time commitment required for converting their items to digital files. The Lab is a self-directed workspace, but if you need help troubleshooting, stop by a service desk for more assistance. Library staff are unavailable to remain in the Lab for the duration of your reservation.
Yes, please check out our calendar of events to view the upcoming Montgomery Digital Petting Zoos. At these events, you will be able to tour the space, view some of the equipment, learn how to make reservations and ask questions.
Please be sure to read through the Lab guidelines prior to your reservation.
We suggest you bring your source material (personal VHS or audio cassettes, print photos, scrapbook pages, photo negatives, etc.) as well as a device to store the digital file(s) to (USB drive, external drive, etc).
Our Lab can be reserved for a maximum of 4 hours per reservation. Audio and video formats transfer in real time, so if you know the length of your DVD, VHS or audio cassette, that would be helpful to give you an idea of your needed reservation length. Below are some standard format lengths:
Typical VHS tape (T-120): 120 minutes/SP mode, 4 hours/LP mode, 6 hours/EP mode
Single Layer DVD: 120-133 minutes
Double Layer DVD: 240 minutes
Audio Cassette: Ranges from 30 mins/side to 60 mins/side
The Montgomery Library has a recording studio just for this purpose! It is located outside of the Lab and in addition to being well insulated, also has a green screen. Recording studio reservations can be made using a valid SCLSNJ card on our online room reservation system.
Please visit this document which lists potential local digitization services to peruse. At this time, the Digital Preservation Lab does not have the ability to digitize multidimensional objects. The library does not endorse specific products or businesses.