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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

Re: On Line or In Library Research?

I agree with Beverly J. Gray. Although I'm a retiree, I appreciate having more information online because its accessible at all times. For those individuals aging and/or who have a disability, nothing beats online collections. When on fixed incomes, it provides a means for you to acquire information while costing less. Time: When you least expect it, a clue may arise in your research when its necessary to go from one source of reference to another. Even in today's high-tech environment, there are plenty of areas where African Amerian history isn't always available. Without online accessibility, the researcher only choice but to pursue his/her research except by taking expensive trips or request transfer of recorded data from library to library. Both avenues are expensive with no guarantee of securing data to offset the costs. And, don't forget the cost of photocopying - real expensive at some institutions vs. the cost at home.

On the other side, as member of the Cleveland African American Genealogical Society I have visited the Allen County Public Library twice. This group travels annually to Fort Wayne, Indiana because of its proximity; the inventory; and open shelving. Just as the staff in Cleveland, Ohio at the Western Reserve Historical Library, trained personnel are available for direction. Of course, nothing beats the rush gained when you walk through the aisles and find a book containing local data on your research area. Technically, you should review this library's (and other ones) catalog prior to your arrival, but still, here's an opportunity to physically browse, perhaps on a subject you previously haven't thought of yet interests you as you see the titles. Allen County Public Library has filed their books under each region, state, and down to the town or city,and subject in a easy organized manner. Personally, I find "open shelving" the uppermost draw to this library beside its inventory. You can take a cart and browse, pick those books you want, and read until its time to leave. For a reader and researcher, you feel like a child in a toy store with no limits. Furthermore,there's no strangers in a historical libary. The people surrounding you share in your discover and advise you where they've discovered an item. These elements have never failed to amaze me, thank goodness, the human touch in genealogy, remains the best.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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