San Rafael Public Library

Memory Lab

What is a Memory Lab?

A memory lab is a resource. It’s a place in the library that you can come to in order to create digital copies of your treasured family photographs, slides, documents, and even negatives.

Why should I use the memory lab?

Photos, slides, documents, negatives and more are all easily damaged by a variety of environmental factors. By creating digital copies, you ensure that these treasured memories are preserved for friends and family.

Using the memory lab is also a good opportunity to organize what you have. You may have photos in books, stuffed into boxes, carousels of slides hidden away in the back of a closet, and envelopes full of negatives tucked away in a desk drawer. You will want to find, and look through these before you use the lab in order to determine what you most want to preserve.

How do I take part?

Memory Lab reservations can be made by contacting the at the Adult Reference Desk at (415) 485-3321. Each reservation is for a 3-hour session, and must be made 24 hours in advance, and is subject to availability. A librarian will orient you to the equipment and to the process at the start of the session.

Here is some important information to know before to call and make your appointment.

What type of material do you plan to digitize?

  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Slides
  • Negatives
  • CDs (transfer to new digital format for preservation)

Where will you save your scans when you are finished?

  • Flash Drive (We recommend at least 8GB)
  • External Hard Drive
  • Cloud

Finally, before you use the Memory Lab you will be asked to sign a release form which will be available at the Adult Reference Desk.