Memory Lab

memory lab banner

What's the Memory Lab?

The Memory Lab is a station on the Upper Level of the library where you can digitize photographs and documents. The Memory Lab is available to all patrons aged 13 or older and is available on a first come, first served basis.

Use of the memory lab is a self-led activity. For written instructions on equipment use, see our Useful Documents section to the right.

If you would like to be trained on how to use the memory lab equipment, please use our Contact Us form (choose "Memory Lab or Devices/Tech Help" from the "What would you like help with...?" option) or call our Adult Services Department at 703-248-5035 (TTY 711).

Not all staff are trained in Memory Lab use, and instruction may not be available on a walk-in basis. 


Epson Expression 12000xl Scanner: This scanner can be used to scan photos and paper documents. Multiple items can be scanned simultaneously. 

ST-ViewScan Microfiche & Microfilm Reader: The ST-ViewScan is used to read and scan Microfiche and Microfilm documents.

Saving Files

We suggest you bring your own USB or external hard drive.

If you do not have one, you may purchase a 32GB USB $3.50 at the upper level service desk.

You can also use a cloud storage service such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

All files saved directly to the computer will be erased when computer session ends.


Digitization is:

Converting analog items such as documents, photos, audio, or video into a digital format.

There are many reasons to consider digitization:

  • Reduce paper documents.
  • Files are searchable.
  • Sub-folders allow for more organization than traditional filing.
  • Retain copies of delicate photos, videos, and documents.
  • Standardize the format of your documents.
  • Easily share documents with others via email or cloud sharing.

Anyone aged 13 and above may use the Memory Lab.

You will need:

  • The documents/photos you intend to scan.
  • A USB stick or external hard drive to save your scanned files to.
  • Basic computer skills, such as knowing how to save a file.

The Memory Lab is a self-led activity. While staff are able to help you troubleshoot issues, we are unable to digitize for you.

photo of epson expression 12000XL

Epson Expression 12000xl Scanner

The Epson Expression 12000XL is available for public use on the library's Upper Level. This scanner allows you to scan several photos and/or documents at once and splits each item into its own file.

The scanner also has a one-touch color restoration option that allows you restore faded photos.

See our Useful Documents section for further guidance.

photo of st-viewscan

Microfilm Reader

The ST-ViewScan digital microfilm and microfiche reader is available for public use on the library’s Upper Level. Images can be saved to USB or sent to the library’s printer.

Microfiche is a flat piece of film, usually the size of a standard index card, containing microphotographs of the pages of a book, periodical, catalogue, etc.

Microfilm is film containing microphotographs of the pages of a book, periodical, etc.; a length of such film.