Scare you?! Perplex you? Overwhelm you?These are not uncommon reactions……….
Each user type poses it’s own challenges • Beginners • Experienced/Specialized • New to your collection • Regulars
Two types of beginners • To genealogy in general This is the more typical situation • To this kind of resource/particular type of record
Want a complete completed genealogy • This is an unrealistic expectation; explain that these are rarely available Users want you to do their research • Explain that librarians don’t do anyone’s research for them, we only guide/assist your own search
Lack the basic skills and/or information to conduct the research • Recommend how-to manuals • Give them basic forms • Refer them to other repositories with genealogical collections Will need help understanding what they’ve found • Refer to other repositories • Locate genealogy manuals and guides in catalog • Cyndi’s List may be useful
May request specific records they believe will be helpful • Try to determine if the different resources listed next have the records • This is challenging, time-consuming, and may be beyond your knowledge – different records may have the same types of information, as well
They often don’t need much help Questions may be directional (more on this later) Youmay know less about genealogy than these users • But you do know more about how libraries & archives operate
Users who are new to your collection or library may or may not be new to genealogy Often they’ve done their homework on your website and come prepared to do their research Oftenthey have travelled quite some distance to use your unique collections
Unlikely to have at a library unless there is a dedicated genealogy collection May use your library for • The library’s computers • The library’s high-speed internet access • The library’s access to Ancestry (not available remotely)
Likeany reference Also like a standard interview, a reference interview, genealogical there are some reference interview is “typical” questions to done to ascertain the begin with level of knowledge of the patron
Are you just beginning your family history search? Have you contacted family members? Have you located home sources? What information do you already know? Do you have it recorded on a family sheet or pedigree chart? Do you have it with you? Are you familiar with Ancestry or Heritage Quest? What kind of information are you looking for?
Directional • Showing locations where items may be found Knowledge-Based • Requires some experience with genealogy and the collection • Requires experience with tools in collection • Requires knowledge of library practices/tools Methodology • Where do I go next? • Can come from any type of user • Some are rote/some require more thought & creativity • May be addressed with more formal classroom instruction
Databases • Ancestry • HeritageQuest • WorldCat Local Collections • Some libraries/branches have special collections Library Catalog • Keyword and subject searching Forms • Ancestral chart & family group sheet – two most basic and useful forms there are • http://www.ancestry.com/charts/ancchart.aspx Cyndi’s List • http://www.cyndislist.com West Michigan Genealogical Society • Databases, copy services, instruction, research trips
Ancestry • Individuals can actually buy Ancestry subscription (but $$) • Ancestry not available remotely • Has all census records, all searchable • How-to articles, forms • More focus on primary resources (vital records, passenger records, etc.) • This is where most patrons will want to begin
HeritageQuest • Available remotely • Has all census records, but not all searchable • More focused on secondary resources Often books that patrons want to ILL are available in the Publications section
Family History Library of Michigan’s Library’s Digital Seeking Michigan Collections • http://seekingmichigan. • https://www.familysearc org/ h.org/ • Digitized death records • These are digitized from 1897 through microform records 1920 • Can limit records to just • Civil War Service Michigan Records for Michigan • Most of Michigan’s soldiers records seem to have been digitized
Consist of record types such as: • Local histories • Yearbooks • Family histories • Newspapers • Photographs
Keyword Searching • Use only the VERY most important words • Don’t search on “genealogy” or “[state]” • Location searches can be effective Remember other usages, i.e. Great Britain for England • Try alternative terms for record descriptions i.e. records, lists, indexes, registers Subject Searching • Location is usually identified at the county level • Searching for a family name is not particularly effective (unless searching for a family history) • Look at subject headings that are useful and use those for more resources
Grand Rapids Public Library – Downtown Main • http://www.grpl.org/wiki/index.php/Genealogy Family History Center – 96 & Leonard • Phone: 616-949-3343; Hours: T-W 9am-9pm; Sat 9am-1pm • http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHC/frameset_fhc. asp Library of Michigan – Lansing • http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-17449_18635--- ,00.html West Michigan Genealogical Society • http://www.wmgs.org/ Local (city/township) Historical Societies • http://www.commoncorners.com/
Work on your own family history! Read books • Croom, Emily Anne. The Genealogists Companion and Sourcebook. Cincinnati: Betterway Books, 2003. • ____. Unpuzzling Your Past: The Best-Selling Basic Guide to Genealogy. Cincinnati: Betterway Books, 2001.
Give them forms to fill out • Anywhere they go, this will help Tell them about circulating how-to books May also locate local collections • At your branch or elsewhere
Show them the digitized Michigan collections Show them Ancestry and HeritageQuest • If they’ve never done their census research, recommend they start there Tell them about Cyndi’s List Refer them to another repository
Show them the library’s access to Ancestry, HeritageQuest, and WorldCat • WorldCat can be used to see how many copies exist of specific title they may be looking for – helps determine odds of getting through interlibrary loan • Many don’t know about HQ’s publication section Tell them about local collections • This is why they may be at your branch or library Refer them to another repository
Though genealogy patrons may scare you, perplex you, or overwhelm you, there are some ways you can try to help them Oneof the best things you can do is try doing of some of your family history research!
All images used in this presentation came from Microsoft’s clip art collection and used with Microsoft’s permission under the terms of the End-User License