University Benefits from Improved Document Capture
Client: California State University/Long Beach Library
Client's Business Challenges:
- Client requires improved circulation of digital documents
- Delivering PDF documents to end-users was difficult due to file size
- PDF documents were too large for emailing
- Large file size and slow hardware contributed to unreliable document retrieval
- Return to hardcopy distribution led to high paper and postage costs
CVISION Product: PdfCompressor
- Compressed documents opened instantly for end-users
- Compressed files can be delivered even with size limits
- Improved electronic access to information
- Reduced costs for both paper and postage
- PdfCompressor streamlined documents for servers
More than 35,000 fulltime-equivalency students and faculty count on the California State University/Long Beach library to keep them current with the information they need to succeed academically. Students and faculty increasingly turn to interlibrary loan services as budgets for library materials shrink and the library must deliver documents via the Web to students and faculty. CSU/LB faculty members also take advantage of distributing articles for class reading through the Web using the library's electronic reserves system.
The right technology has been crucial in keeping the library's Web based document delivery services running smoothly - no small task in a time of falling budgets. CSU/LB Technology Strategist Jill Horn commented, "As the impact of tightening budgets grew, more patrons required the use of interlibrary loan to obtain materials for scholarly work. The increase in this document delivery service drove our search to find efficient methods to deliver documents and reduce postage costs. This, combined with the increasing demand from students for 24/7 access to reserve materials, increased the library's reliance on electronic documents."
"One of the biggest challenges was delivering PDF documents to our customers. Many of the PDF documents were too large for email and even when posted to a web server for retrieval, too large for a 56K standard modem to reliably retrieve. Overcoming the document size and dealing with a large student body using slow modems was a huge challenge."
The CSU/LB library technology team oversees two Web delivery services where students log onto a Web site. From that site, students can select, view, print, and read documents requested by them or posted by faculty members for their required reading. To accommodate the limitations of 56k modems and large files, in the past documents were actually shipped in chunks from the site to recipients.
The need to "chunk" documents was often forgotten by the Library document processors. That led to a return to hard copy document distribution, and related paper and postage costs. A system upgrade to the interlibrary loan service forced document processors to post documents in their entirety. The campus e-mail didn't allow for distribution of documents over 200k, which many of these PDF documents exceed-and customers became frustrated trying to download web posted PDF documents with file sizes greater than 1MB using their 56k modems. The answer seemed to lie with compression.
As the person who oversees, recommends and implements technical solutions for the library, Jill Horn took action. "When we recognized the problem, I did a Google search on compression and noticed CVISION. We evaluated their PdfCompressor and loved it. Ralph Cafiero and the CVISION team helped us through the testing and evaluation process. They've been great."
Today, when an electronic document in PDF format enters the CSU/LB library system, it goes to a watched folder. There, the CVISION engine compresses the file and delivers it to its intended destination on the Web.
"In the era of the world wide web, customers are increasingly demanding electronic access to information and libraries are losing gate count. We have to make documents available as painlessly as possible. To me, PdfCompressor is an essential tool for libraries. We started with a small battery pack, and now we have a million-pager," Horn added.
"CVISION PdfCompressor streamlines the documents for our servers. It removed a technology roadblock that once existed. My dean is happy because faculty and students can get their documents seamlessly."