ST. CLOUD -- The Great River Regional Library will soon be upgrading some older technology.

The St. Cloud branch was recently awarded a nearly $9,000 grant to buy some new microfilm readers/printers. The grant is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Neil Vig is the Patron Services Coordinator. He says while microfilm isn't as popular as before, there is still a large number of users in the St. Cloud area.

"We have a lot of people who utilize the microfilm reader. Now we can get newer machines that will have crisper images and the software is getting better with the machines."

Microfilm is an archival format many newspapers utilized in the early 1800s, before computers and the internet.

Vig says the grant will go to replacing at least three older microfilm readers which are roughly 15 years old.

"With the new software the readers will have searchable text tools. You can type in a word and it will scan the newspaper for that particular keyword."

Vig says the microfilm readers are for anyone's use and available on a first come first use basis. He says they hope to have the new machines within the next couple of weeks.