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Libraries & Cultural Institutions

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Eastern Iowa Libraries

Libraries in Eastern Iowa play a vital role in preserving and supplying access to valuable information. Advantage Archival Solutions encompasses two operational units: AdvantageDS3 (Document Scanning & Storage Solutions) and Advantage Archives. Advantage has had the pleasure of partnering with nearly 400 community libraries, historical societies, museums, and genealogical groups in Iowa to digitize and provide free access to their history via the Community History Archive platform. Advantage Archives is recognized as a valuable partner of the Iowa library community and a trusted provider of services related to newspaper digitization, preservation-microfilming, microfilm storage, and scanning books, maps, manuscripts, and historical documents.

AdvantageDS3 supports the Iowa library community beyond the archival services and digital solutions for access to historical materials provided by Advantage Archives. Advantage knows that efficient document management practices are crucial for libraries to ensure regulatory compliance, protect sensitive materials, enhance accessibility, and set up robust disaster recovery and business continuity plans. ADS3 has a deep-rooted connection to the libraries in Iowa. Those relationships give us insight into how we can significantly enhance the document management practices for the various operational units that keep the library running efficiently. Increasingly, the directors of libraries in Iowa are turning to ADS3 to implement successful records management strategies tailored to their unique document types.

  • Records Retention Laws: Libraries must adhere to records retention laws that dictate how long certain records must be retained before they can be disposed of. These retention periods may vary depending on the type of record and jurisdiction. Compliance with these regulations ensures the preservation of important legal documents. ADS3 can assist libraries in creating customized retention schedules specific to the regulations that govern certain aspects of library operations, ensuring compliance with state and federal guidelines, reducing the risk of penalties, and optimizing space utilization. 
  • Disaster Recovery Planning: Libraries must be prepared for fires, floods, or natural disasters. In 2008, libraries across eastern Iowa were impacted by high waters, with some, like the Cedar Rapids Public Library, totally devastated. Partnering with ADS3 allows libraries to develop comprehensive disaster recovery plans for Eastern Iowa’s unique risks, including flooding, tornadoes, or rare events like the derecho of 2020. The derecho damaged several libraries across Iowa, including the Marion library, which was forced to abandon its building beyond repair, and build a new building nearby. In the wake of these and similar weather-related events, Eastern Iowa’s library directors have prioritized implementing document management plans that provide a roadmap to recovery in the face of a disaster. These plans may include secure offsite storage in ADS3’s 80,000-square-foot records center in Cedar Rapids, document digitization and redundant backups, and efficient document retrieval and remote access protocols to ensure minimal disruption.
  • Operational Continuity: The pandemic exposed the critical need for libraries to develop strategies for uninterrupted access to information and services, even when the physical files or materials were unavailable to the staff or patrons. The limited access to library buildings by patrons or staff highlighted the need for Iowa’s libraries to develop reliable business continuity plans. ADS3 has contributed to implementing these plans by incorporating hybrid records management strategies combining secure offsite storage with remote document access through digitization, ensuring seamless access to critical records during regular operations and emergencies.
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Secure Offsite Records Storage

Libraries generate and must maintain numerous documents related to nearly every aspect of the institution’s operations, some of which must be retained for compliance with Iowa and national retention policies that govern certain record types. These files can accumulate quickly over time, and most Iowa libraries have a back file of hard-copy documents occupying valuable space in the library’s building and are inefficient to search or access. Those physical documents can be securely stored offsite in ADS3’s 80,000-square-foot, full-service document facility in Cedar Rapids. The records center offers climate-stable document storage, temperature and humidity-controlled storage options, media vaulting, an ANSI/AIIM-compliant microform storage vault, and an ultra-secure FireLock fireproof vault. The records management center features controlled access and 24/7 surveillance to protect the privacy of patrons and the library’s confidential information that is kept in any format. Secure offsite storage optimizes office space and provides peace of mind knowing critical documents are protected from loss, information breach, or damage.

  • Archival Storage For Historical Or At Risk Materials
  • Document Scanning and Indexing
  • Digitization Of Cultural Heritage Materials
  • File Retrievals and Courier Services
  • Inter-Library Loan Pick-Up & Delivery Services
  • Secure Document Destruction Services

Archival Storage For Historical Or At Risk Materials

Libraries often house valuable historical documents, rare books, manuscripts, and archival collections that require specialized preservation conditions. By utilizing ADS3’s offsite archival storage services, libraries can ensure the long-term preservation of these materials. ADS3 provides dedicated storage centers within its 80,000-square-foot records management facility that feature controlled environments, including regulated temperature and humidity, to minimize deterioration and prevent damage. ADS3’s archival storage service frees up valuable space within the library premises and offers enhanced security measures, such as restricted access controls and surveillance systems, to protect the stored materials. Libraries can rely on the ability of the ADS3 to organize and catalog the documents, enabling efficient retrieval and ensuring the continued accessibility of valuable historical resources for researchers, scholars, and public access.

Document Scanning and Indexing

The specific records or documents that libraries choose to digitize often depend on their unique needs, priorities, and regulatory requirements. Libraries need to evaluate their business processes to determine which records would benefit from digitization in terms of accessibility and efficient management.


Digitization Of Cultural Heritage Materials

Libraries in Iowa and across the United States have entrusted Advantage to provide digital access to their institution’s collections of physical documents, including manuscripts, newspapers, photographs, and other historical records. Digitizing these materials not only preserves their content by limiting handling but also enhances accessibility and facilitates remote research. ADS3 employs sophisticated scanning methodologies to convert physical documents into high-quality digital formats. The digitized materials are accessible for free via the library’s Community History Archives platform, allowing users to search, view, and access them remotely. This service enables libraries to share their collections with a broader audience, engage in collaborative research projects, and supply free online access to rare or fragile items that may be restricted from physical handling. Additionally, digitization serves as a critical part of disaster recovery planning, ensuring that even in the event of a catastrophe, digital copies of valuable documents are preserved and accessible. 


File Retrievals and Courier Services

Efficient and prompt document retrieval is crucial for libraries serving researchers, students, and community members. ADS3 can provide seamless file retrieval services, ensuring that requested documents, books, or archival materials are promptly available. Additionally, on-demand courier services can facilitate secure and efficient transportation of materials between Eastern Iowa library branches or partner institutions.


Inter-Library Loan Pick-Up & Delivery Services

 ADS3 can help Eastern Iowa’s libraries facilitate the efficient execution of ILL services provided by libraries, allowing patrons to borrow materials from other libraries within a network or consortium, enabling library users to access resources that may not be available in their own library’s collection. Inter-library loan expands the range of materials accessible to patrons, promoting resource sharing and collaboration among libraries. ADS3 will hand deliver the borrowed item from the lending library to the patron’s home library much quicker than a postal or 3rd party delivery service.

Secure Document Destruction Services

Libraries often handle outdated or sensitive materials that require secure and compliant disposal. ADS3 operates a NAID AAA-certified document destruction center, ensuring the proper disposal of physical records, confidential patron information, or outdated materials, mitigating the risk of data breaches or privacy violations.

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Revolutionizing Library Services with ADS3

By leveraging the services of Advantage Document Scanning & Storage Solutions, libraries in Eastern Iowa can enhance their document management practices, improve regulatory compliance, protect valuable materials, and ensure seamless access to information for their communities. These benefits enable Iowa’s libraries to focus on their core mission of serving the Iowans in their community. AdvantageDS3 can tailor a solution that addresses the unique needs of each library, such as:

  • Assisting the library in developing a comprehensive retention policy for its archival collections, including microfilm, bound volumes, and historical documents. These materials can be digitized to improve accessibility, and the original materials can be stored in ADS3’s climate-controlled records center to minimize handling and other factors that may lead to deterioration, loss, or damage.
  • Providing inter-library loan courier services to streamline processes and ensure efficient sharing of resources with other libraries in Eastern Iowa.
  • Helping to establish a hybrid records management system, combining physical document storage with digital archives for easier access and enhanced disaster recovery capabilities.
  • Implementing secure offsite storage solutions, leveraging ADS3’s 80,000-square-foot records management center in Cedar Rapids to archive valuable special collections, ensuring their protection while freeing up space for community use.
  • Executing stringent information security measures, including access controls and secure document shredding in ADS3’s NAID AAA-certified document destruction center to ensure the proper disposal of outdated materials, protecting patron privacy and complying with data protection regulations.
  • Collaborating with the library to develop a disaster recovery plan, including redundant data backups and remote document retrieval, ensuring continued service during emergencies.
  • Consulting with the libraries in Eastern Iowa on ways in which ADS3’s document digitization services can be leveraged to create a digital archive of historical photographs, newspapers, and local publications, enhancing accessibility for researchers and the public.
  • Offering a “community shred day” in which ADS3 would come to the library with locked containers to safely transport their documents to Cedar Rapids, where they would be securely shredded in our certified document destruction center, ensuring privacy protection and confidentiality. 

By leveraging the services of Cedar Rapids-based ADS3, Eastern Iowa’s libraries can optimize space, preserve historical documents, ensure regulatory compliance, enhance information security, establish robust disaster recovery plans, streamline document retrieval processes, digitize records, and achieve cost savings. Contact ADS3 today to explore a customized solution that fits your library’s needs.

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