Librarians and archivists have made great strides in making collections discoverable and accessible to a wide audience by creating electronic finding aids, digitizing materials and using social media, but modern researchers want more. Their research needs, practices and expectations are rapidly changing both in academia and in many other areas. Researchers are looking for quick, painless access to primary resource materials and the ability to use new communication technology mechanisms to gain this access. The authors of this study were interested in the policies and practices of academic special libraries in the United States and Canada. Did they permit scanning/capture access through these new technologies? If they do not, why? If they do, why and how? What are the challenges of allowing personal scanning devices in a special collections library or archive? The authors wish to look at this timely topic of allowing personal scanning devices in special collections libraries and initiate further discussion on the issue.