Saturday, January 14, 2012

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Local Library

Week 2: Go to your local public library branch again. Examine the local history, archives and/or special collections section. Ask a librarian if you don’t know if your library has special collections or where they are located. Be sure to check the reference section, too, as many of the newer and more valuable books are held in that area. If you have a genealogy blog, write about what you find in your library’s local history and special collections.

Thursday evening I returned to the Mesa Public Library and spoke with the reference librarian.  She answered the questions I asked but I wasn't able to draw her out and she didn't offer an other information.  In her defence she was working on a project on the computer.  I just offer this as an observation, I probably needed to think of more questions but I didn't have any at the ready. 

So what did I learn. 
  • There is a good size section of Arizona history and that the numbers for the reference section match the numbers in the history section.
  • Mesa does have a special collection but it is only available on Tuesdays from 10 to 12 and Wednesdays 10 to 12 and 3 to 5.  There are no evening hours because the collection is in the basement and they can only afford one librarian to work there and it is "too creepy" for only one person to work there.  So until they can afford two people to work in the special collection, there are no evening hours.  My thought was in these economical times, that is not going to happen.
  • There is no genealogy section because the Family History Center is 3 blocks away and they did not want to duplicate services.
I asked a question of how do certain books become reference and some not.  The answer is the librarians decide. 

The factors include:
  • cost of the book,
  • type of  book,
  • used for a quick look up of information or studied 
  • A series of books, such as World Books, or Encyclopedias. 
  • Some books are duplicated and are in reference section and circulation. 
I did check out two books that caught my eye, Trail of Hope, The Story of the Mormon Trail and The London Bridge in Pictures

My catalog search came up with 291 books on Arizona History alone and 10 more pages of Arizona topics. Below is a screen shot of something I thought was very interesting.

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