07 February 2011

Do you have a library card?

All family historians should have a library card. Your city, town, or county library holds a variety of help for your research. One important factor is that almost all library cards are free for residents of the area where the library is located. Few libraries allow us to borrow genealogy related research materials, so we need to purchase those from the book vendors we find at seminars and conference and online.
  • Reference section: no matter the size of your library, browse the shelves of reference books to see the various compilations, directories, and other books that may help you.
  • Local History Room: the indexes, histories, vertical files are great for community history, too.
  • Reference librarians: the knowledge and experience may give you knowledge of references sources you didn't know about.
  • Interlibrary Loan: this is a great way to "borrow" books that your library doesn't own.
  • Fiction section: books about detectives, historical romances, and others may interest you.
  • Biographies: borrow books on famous people in history.
  • Used/duplicate book sales: my home library shelves have many books from these sales
  • Periodicals: even if your library doesn't have a lot of genealogy periodicals, it may subscribe to those from the county and state historical societes.
  • CDs, DVDs: borrow movies, books, and music that is historical in nature. This includes documentaries that may assist with your knowledge of history.
  • Databases: if you haven't checked the list of subscription databases lately, you may have some surprises in store for you. Some are for use only on library computers, but others may be accessed from your home computer. In today's world of big budget cutbacks for libraries, some of these may not always be there so check them out now. [I will soon write about one of my neat finds using a database from my library.]

1 comment:

Pattie said...

I LOVE my library card! The ability to borrow books from around the country is priceless. Unfortunately Pasco County in Florida had to suspend this benefit due to budget cuts this year. A real loss!