JACKSON TWP.  Do you have VHS tapes being saved at your home or office that contain footage of weddings, special birthday parties or are filled with other keepsake memories? Did the VCR breakdown or get sent to recycling years ago and now there is no way to play those tapes and relive those memories?

The Jackson Township Branch Library held two classes in August to demonstrate how to convert those VHS tapes to digital files to save on a DVD or a thumb drive. Both the Aug. 7 and 14 classes were filled.

Jesse Peek, the technology and literacy trainer from the Stark County District Library, conducted the Aug. 7th class at the Jackson Library.

“This is a popular class,” Peek said. “It’s popular because so many people have stacks of VHS tapes that they can no longer view but they want to keep the memories and recordings. We are showing them a way to digitize or modernize those recordings.”

Peek said the library offers a free service for those who may not want to buy the necessary equipment to do the conversion. Anyone interested in the free service can call Peek at downtown library for more details.

During the class, Peek gave a list of items needed to do the conversion including the following:

- A VHS to DVD converter is needed to connect the VCR to a desktop computer or laptop. There is software included with the converter that coverts the files to digital. 

- A computer to receive the converted file.

- A VCR or camcorder to run the VHS tape

- An external DVD burner to burn the digitized video from the computer to a DVD

- Blank DVDs

“We use a converter brand called VIDBOX but there are several other brands of converters available at different prices. The converter is needed because VCRs weren’t made to connect to a computer. The converter acts as a go between,” Peek said. “We do offer VHS tape conversion as a free service, but the person has to remain with the tape as it converts, and it is real time. If the video is six hours long, then the conversion will take six hours. It might be worth the investment to purchase the items needed to do the conversion at one’s home.”

Peek said this is a new class being offered at the Jackson Branch and there will be more of the conversion classes offered throughout the year. Call the library at 330-833-1010 for a complete schedule of upcoming classes or visit online at https://starklibrary.org/home/locations/jackson-township-branch/.