Since I didn’t start my blog until late October 2010, I missed out on last year’s topic: 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy (created by Amy Coffin at We Tree Genealogy Blog and weekly challenges issued at Geneabloggers). There’s a new set of weekly challenges now (52 weeks of Personal Genealogy & History), for which I may post a few entries. After reading through all the challenges for last year, I was intrigued. So after hours and hours of copying and pasting into a Word document (ok, it really only took about 15 minutes), I have all 52 weeks of challenges saved for eternity, and I will be addressing them on a weekly basis. That being said, I’m already a week behind, so I’d better get cracking!
Week 1: Go to your local public library branch. Make a note of the genealogy books in the collection that may help you gain research knowledge. Don’t forget to check the shelves in both the non-fiction section and the reference section. If you do not already have a library card, take the time to get one. If you have a genealogy blog, write about what you find in your library’s genealogy collection.
Library card … check.
All the branches of my local library are closed on Sunday, so I thought I’d check out their online catalog. Surprisingly, they have quite a bit to offer as far as genealogy research is concerned. I did a subject search for “genealogy” and got 118 hits. I also got hits for Genealogical Societies, Genealogy handbooks and manuals, and South Carolina Genealogy Sources (which is really weird, since I’m in Tennessee). I expanded the Genealogy category and found all sorts of books from beginning genealogy to scrapbooking to preserving heirlooms to DNA research to citing sources, and everything in between.
One thing I really liked (I love that my library has taken a step into the 21st century) is that if I am interested in one of the books, I can click on the title and see where the book is located (which branch), whether it is already checked out, how many copies are available, its call number, where it is located in the library, and (most times) a picture of the cover of the book. I can add the book to my personal list, which I can print and take with me to speed up the process. I can also place holds on certain books, so I can have them ready to pick up when I go by the library. Talk about a time-saver! The library is about 6 blocks from my office, so I could send the list to the library and run by at lunch and pick up whatever books I’ve requested. I haven’t used this service yet … but I think I might in the very near future!
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