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Genealogy Research at the Library

Using The Public Library To Research Family History And Genealogy

Genealogy and researching family history are quickly becoming one of the most popular hobbies in the United States. With information at our fingertips, researching family names, and plotting the geographic timelines or locations of the various branches of family trees has never been more convenient.

But where do you start?

Back in the Stone Age, when computers were expensive and not available for public use, genealogy was a massive undertaking, and involved going through dusty tomes, writing letters to relatives, and spending hours in city and county archives in various states. This amounted to a ton of time consumed by travel and waiting.

Now that we have the Internet, and most public libraries are interconnected, you can do your research from one computer at your local library – and in some cases, you can even browse archives from the convenience of your home computer or laptop.

It used to be that families stayed in a very small radius for generations at a time. This was due to a strong sense of community, the high cost of traveling, and basic technology kept jobs local. It wasn’t uncommon to find streets named after families who had existed in towns and cities for a very long time. People would be born in a small town, go to school and marry their classroom sweethearts, and then take a local job and the cycle would continue.

These days, families disperse at a much faster rate, and often the availability of employment is the driving factor. With many people going off to college and then getting a job in their respective field, it isn’t out of the ordinary to find a family that used to exist in one town for many decades to suddenly have the latest generation hopping from state to state or growing roots of their own everywhere across the country.

If you have a last name go start with, you can ask your parents or close relatives about other maiden names and where those relatives lived before moving to their current locations. From there, you can get a genral sense of where your relative have lived, and maybe even their countries of origin before settling in the United States.

Even with this cursory knowledge, you can go to your local public library and begin to search the history archives regarding those relative. From there, you can spider out and look at other geographic locations where your family has lived.

If you find out that your more distant relatives have lived elsewhere in the country, you can make a request from your public library to another one in a different town or even state to browse their archives, resident registries, and other documentation that you can print out at home or right there at the library for your personal use. In no time, through the use of the information at your public library, you will become an expert on your family history. Genealogy has never been easier than by sitting down at a computer in your public library and plugging in a few names and dates.

Names and dates are simple database queries that will help you make a good working list of family members, but what about the details that aren’t just simple searches? What about marriage records, police reports, or outstanding achievements of relatives that were mentioned in old newspapers?

Many of you who grew up in a time before the Internet may remember looking things up on microfiche and filling out inter-library loan forms to get information to use in your reports that wasn’t immediately available in your location. Well, public libraries have taken this to the next step. By scanning old newspaper articles, the local obituary index, and registry books into electronic files (many of them with searchable text), you can now get access to the documents you need for your genealogy project with just a few clicks, rather than waiting for weeks and sometimes months for the family history information you need. Now you have names, dates, photos, and locations at your disposal, so you can begin charting that family tree of yours like no one has been able to do before.

Communications technology has come a long way from where it was just a decade ago. The public library has always been the place to go for most types of research, and it still is. Between the connectivity between public libraries and the availability of public documents and records – in addition to the ease of locating and sharing such information, it’s no wonder that genealogy is skyrocketing. Youcan even find organizations at your public library to share family history. What was once perceived as an impossible hobby, with the options at your local library, is now bringing us together much like the family communnity of yore. There’s nothing keeping you from researching your own family history. Genealogy is a fascinating hobby, so get over to your public library and start researching today!

You may be surprised by who you’re related to.

Check Out Kindle Books at the Library

See How Easily You Can Check Out a Kindle Book From Your Local Library


If you’ve been paying attention to the U.S. news media you may have noticed that it’s now possible to check out Amazon Kindle books from your local public library. That’s right; as long as you have a valid library card and an Amazon account, you can visit some 11,000 library sites and download Amazon Kindle books to your Kindle or Kindle app-enabled device via WiFi or USB. You can read the book on any generation Kindle device or free Kindle reading app.

Similar to regular books, libraries have a limited number of Kindle copies for each title so you will have to check availability. To see whether Kindle check-outs are available at a library near you, call your local librarian. Another similarity to physical books is that Kindle copies will have an expiration date — but after that date, they can either be renewed or purchased through Amazon, with all of your bookmarks and notations still intact. Kindle books feature real page numbers and Whispersync technology that synchronizes your notes, highlights, and last page read. For questions about availability of Kindle library books, loan duration, and terms of use, you should contact your local library.

How It Works

You can easily borrow Kindle books through your local library’s website and, with the click of a button, have them delivered to your Kindle device or free reading app.

• Visit the website of a United States library that offers digital services from OverDrive.

• Check out a Kindle book using your valid library card.

• Click on “Get for Kindle” and then sign in to your account to have the book delivered instantly to your Kindle device or reading app.


Public library books can be sent wirelessly to Kindle devices via an active Wi-Fi connection or transferred via USB. The service also has some other interesting features:

• Page numbers correspond to those in print editions.

• Facebook and Twitter integration lets you share favorite passages.

• Popular Highlights show Kindle owners’ comments on passages in books.

• Public Notes shares people’s opinions on books.

One last benefit that checking Kindle books out offers over physical books may not be so obvious. In a statement, Amazon’s Kindle director, Jay Marine said, “Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re fixing this by extending our Whispersync technology to library books, so your notes, highlights and bookmarks are always backed up and available the next time you check out the book or if you decide to buy the book.”



Save Money Using The Resources At The Library

Nowadays saving money is a challenge especially when you want to have some fun like watching movies, playing games and many other things. What many and you may not know is that you can save up tons if you know where to look. Discover how you can Save Money by Using Resources at Your Local Public Library.

Sshhh! That something you commonly hear in the library. Not anymore. Old dusty and unused libraries now have a new glint of sparkle with it. You can now actually save up money when you visit the library. New age libraries not only have books to feed your mind knowledge, extra information and educational needs but it now has cutting edge technology that you never thought you public library will ever have.


Yes, books are still the best things a library can offer to you. But now books available on libraries are not the old type educational books but now also offer new popular books such as the oh-so popular fiction story book: Twilight. Not only new fictional books can be read in the new approved library but also books about romance and jokes.
Libraries now offer shelves of different categories such as poetry, romantic escapades, tales adventures, book lessons from music and other more and even recipes for mothers and cooks and also travel guides.

Adding up is the new digital books, E-Books. If you want a book but it’s no longer available then e-books are perfect. Libraries now also have e-books of any topics. Remember all this books and e-books are free to read. No need to spend money to buy books you love. People often buy these books or guides only once. Why waste just go to the nearest library and save up.

Internet Surfing

Are you in dire need to get online already. Don’t want to add up extra bills from internet connection then your local library is the answer. Many libraries now have computers and also offer free internet access. You can now update your Facebook status, shop online, email friends everything you want to do online.

What if you need a computer on a certain time? Then all you have to do is reserve a computer in advance by calling the library or through online or maybe by visiting the library ahead of time for reservation.  Some libraries also have free Wi-Fi access so even if you weren’t able to reserve but have your own laptop you can surf online for free.

Watch Movies

Do you love watching movies but you’re always on a tight budget? Don’t want to buy DVD movies that you’re only going to watch once? Well surprisingly, your local library has the answers for your problem.

Instead of renting movies on rental stores, you can now borrow and watch movies in libraries. You could borrow and watch movies of any genre like old classic movies or maybe, new movies, children DVDs and even the entire collection of your favorite TV series.

You can even watch and borrow educational DVDs that you may need as a reference on projects, research papers and others such as independent films, how babies are formed inside the womb and alike. You can also borrow DVD lessons such as how to play the piano, how to play the guitar and the likes.

With only fraction of the amount you can rent the DVDs for an entire night! So much better than buying DVDs, right. But what if you want to watch movies on the theaters? The library answered your prayers. With tickets costing only under $12, you can watch movies on cinemas. Did you know that some cool movies are never released on popular cinema houses it’s because some of them are independent films? You can also watch vintage movies that are rarely played on cinemas and hard to find old movies on DVDs.  You can now enjoy a great night with classics and friends without spending too much.

Not only you can watch movies, you can also rent cds that you love.  Although just make sure you don’t break it.

Games Galore

Who said that libraries aren’t fun. You can now actually play games at the comfort of a library. All you have to do is rent rather than buying game consoles. Libraries now offer rentable game consoles such as Wii, PS3, PS2 and other game consoles. You can now actually leave your kids playing video games then get bored then study all in one place.

Fun Activities

“Libraries are boring” Not anymore. Children and adults can now have fun activities in the library. Not only there are video games available to rent for kids and adult’s alike, fun activities are now also offered by libraries. Kids can enjoy activities such as story-telling, art lessons, and other more fun activities. You can ask your library for free resources for kids.

As mentioned, adults can also enjoy these kinds of activities. You can join workshops of different subjects than can also help your social life. Book clubs are also rampant on libraries’ activities.

There are also free events you can check out. There is no end on free vents you can see on your libraries’ calendar. From seminars, to speeches, special performances and concerts are listed. You may even see a funny and out of this world events across USA. Your weekends and holidays will never be boring.

Special Space

Your home may be your comfort zone but too much comfort may end up with no work. Libraries can provide peace and quiet place to concentrate on your work. It’s also a great place to meet up with clients, professionals and other important meetings. It’s a great place as an office. Expect a great productive workday. All you need to do is reserve ahead of time – for meetings and conferences.

Libraries now have divided rooms and spaces for different activities. Families can now enjoy a great entertaining and educational days at libraries. Now as expected to all of these lists you can actually Save Money by Using Resources at Your Local Public Library.

Public Law Libraries

What exactly are public law libraries?

A law library is usually a library intended to aid law students, legal professionals, judges, in addition to their law clerks and anybody else who sees it important to appropriately ascertain the condition of the law.

Most law institutions around the globe will also have a law library, or perhaps in some universities, at the very least a portion of the university library committed to legislation.

An average law library will incorporate in their selection a large number of works not found in other libraries, such as a complete set of United States Reports, one or both of the unofficial U.S. Supreme Court reporters, the West National Reporter System, the West American Digest System, official reporters from various states, the Federal Register, volumes of American Jurisprudence, bound volumes containing issues of prominent law reviews from around the country, federal and state statutes and regulations (such as the United States Code and Code of Federal Regulations), and several different treatises, encyclopedias, looseleaf products and services, and exercise manuals.

Large libraries might have numerous supplemental resources addressing subject areas like legal education, research, and writing; a brief history of the United states legal system and profession; a brief history regarding particular high-profile cases; tactics of oral debate; and also the legislative history of significant federal and state regulations. On the other hand, a smaller law library, at the very least, may contain just one single unofficial Supreme Court reporter, selected West national reporters and digests specific to the state in which the library can be found, the United States Code, a handful of state-specific reporters and statutory compilations (should they exist for a specific state), and many state-specific treatises and exercise guides.

In recent times, the arrival of online legal research outlets such as FindLaw, Westlaw, LexisNexis, and HeinOnline (or in Canada, CanLII) has decreased the requirement for some types of printed volumes like reporters and statutory compilations. A variety of law libraries have as a result decreased the availability of printed works that may be easily located on the Internet, and have increased their personal Internet availability. On the other hand, some university law libraries preserve comprehensive historical collections going back to the earliest English reports.

A public law library is simply a standard law library which is available to the general public without the need for someone doing research to pay a membership fee or to be a registered practitioner of the law in order to access the research material.

As with standard law libraries many law libraries now reside online and are much more easily accessible for anyone with an internet connection. With the advent of internet based law libraries it is now also easier to have access to a larger amount of information as you are no longer limited to waiting for someone to be finished using some information before you are able to access that book or record and begin doing your own research on whichever subject matter you are researching.

Getting a Library Card

Nowadays some people may think that the library is obsolete due to the Internet, but that is not the case at all. Many people still love to peruse the aisles and check out real books or do research or even use the library to go online. But in order to do this, you will need a library card as your ticket of entry.

What is a library card?

A library card is a type of identification card that entitles the bearer to use their local library, as well as borrow things like books, videos, CDs, or other materials at no cost for a prescribed amount of time. The specifics of the rules for using a library card differ somewhat from library to library, but for the most part, they are very similar.

In some cases you can even borrow materials from interconnected libraries all over your state or elsewhere. Some libraries also have agreements with area colleges. This makes the library a very valuable and cost saving place to go for many things from recreation to college homework or more.

How do I get a library card?

In order to get a library card for your area library you first must be a resident of that town, or in some cases, that county that the library is located in. You will need to bring two pieces of identification to show both who you are with a picture ID such as a driver’s license or military ID, and where your legal residence is. For the latter you need something like a voter registration card, a utility bill or some sort of official document that has your current address on it.

There is also a fee in some libraries to get a library card, while other localities have free cards for residents. You will have to ask in advance to see if your library of choice requires a fee. If so, the annual fee is normally between about $10 and $50. Sometimes there is a family fee and that can save you money as well.

Once you know the answer to that question and have your IDs ready, you must then fill out an application to get your library card. You can usually get the application either at the library itself, or perhaps download it from the library’s Internet site. Then, fill it out and bring in or send in as required by your particular library location. Be careful to fill out the application correctly.

Library rules vary for checkouts, fines, etc

Once you have gotten your library card, you need to study the library’s policies on things like how long you can keep materials, how to renew keeping materials, any overdue fine rules, rules on using the library for research, or using the library Internet facilities. These are a few of the possible rules and regulations to get for most libraries.

Who Can Use the Library Card?

One thing to remember is that only the person listed on the card can use the library card to borrow materials or use the library facilities. You should not share your card with anyone, because if you are discovered to be doing this, that your privileges could be revoked. If you happen to lose your library card or move to a different address, you need to let the library know so that a new card can be issued.

Everyone in the family needs their very own library card and this is simple to do. Check with your local library to find out the age when your child is required to have their own library card as this varies from library to library, but will most likely be when they reach school age.

Renewing a Library Card

Library cards are good for varying timeframes depending on the rules of your local library. Some are good for only a year and must then be renewed through your library desk or online, while in other communities the library card may be good for differing amounts of time. Either way, you should be sure to check the date it expires so you won’t lose your privileges for using and enjoying your library.


All in all, a library card can open the door to a world of adventure and delight, as well as provide a quiet place to study or read, or a good place to do research for homework or browse online using the library’s Internet. Whatever you do at your local library, they haven’t gone out of style just yet. So, be sure to apply to the library to get your very own library card, your ticket to using their services.



Children’s Classes and Reading Groups

When looking around for activities for your child, you can run into a lot of options. Some of those available programs won’t even interest your child. Some may have you scratching your head at the purpose, and if they are going to help enrich your child’s life experience in some way. And most of those activities are going to cost you money, with little return.

What most people take into consideration is that the public library has a bunch of programs open to your child for free – be it activities after school, reading groups, programs that work in conjunction with what your child is learning in the classroom, and even summer activities so that your child doesn’t get bored as school vacations go on for weeks and months at a time.

Children’s Reading Groups

Most public libraries have after school or evening reading groups for children, broken out by grade or age range. For younger ages, a librarian or library volunteer will usually pick a book and read aloud to the childres while showing the pictures on the pages. These stories are usually easy to grasp, encourage participation, and are award-winning stories. This will encourage your child to want to read more fantastic stories, so you can ensure that your child is still having social needs met, while also expanding the constructive imagination.

For older age groups who may be well-into reading more grown up books, the public library has book clubs, where a group of children will each choose to read the same book, and meet each week to discuss the various aspects and characters in the story. They may even take turns reading chapters aloud to one another. From Caledcott Award Winning books to popular series and brand new bestsellers, the public library has reading groups for children of all ages.


The public library is also a great way to enroll your child into free and fun classes after school or during vacation breaks. These can be anything from paper crafts for the younder children, all the way up to heraldry, genealogy, and even introductory computer programming classes.


On the school side of things, the public library frequently works with local schools in offering activities and classes that coincide with what your child is learning at the moment. Apart from the obvious like Women’s History and Black History, you may find your local library having a local historian giving a presentation on what your child is learning in social sciences. If your young one is studying physics, there may be general demonstrations at the local librry. If your child is into fantasy books or even art, you can sometimes find classes to enhance and broaden your child’s knowledge about such subjects.


For the child who needs help, or who wants to go above and beyond in certain subjects, the public library often opens its doors to free tutoring. This can assist in giving your child a leg up in certain areas of learning, from math to English to foreign languages and even the hard sciences.

Your public library also has similar classes and sessions for adults who want to explore a hobby or learn about something completely new. Never before has your public library been such a hub of learning and fun activities or all age groups!

 Enriched Family Entertainment

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to keep yourself and your child entertained during vacations, either. Just look at the bulletin board at the public library, and you will find everything ranging from book clubs to reading groups. Beyond books, you might find lectures, presentations, and hands-on activities for young and old alike. Some libraries even have movie showings one a week or once a month to showcase a new release or interesting subject matter.

Your public library isn’t just a place to check out books and occasionally drop off the kids when they have a report due for school. Scratch the surface and you will find that the public library is a wealth of activities, learning, and human resources that not only broaden the mind, but also develop social skills and a sense of community. Through these reading groups, activities, and classes, your children will not only learn, get a broader understanding of the surrounding world, but they might make some new friends in the process.

So, if you are looking for something to get your child involved in something other than television and video games, but don’t want to spend a ton of money on specific programs, head on over to your public library and ask to see their calendar of events. You will see a list of dates and activities available to children of all ranges. You will easily be able to pick something that is fun, creative, education, or a combination thereof. Who knows? You may find something you want to participate in, yourself.