Library databases are wonderful places for patrons to begin their genealogical journey — but what happens when they’ve exhausted their Ancestry.com search? And what will they do with all of the information they’ve acquired? With so many national observances honoring heritage, it’s always a good time to offer programs that help patrons trace their roots and showcase their histories. Here are four ways you can empower your patrons to tell their stories through programming.
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The University of Dayton Libraries’ exploration of program models continued during the fall 2016 semester with a trio of new history-focused workshops. In support of University of Dayton’s Housing and Residence Life curriculum (see The Swipe is Right for more details), these workshops identified and addressed connecting students to personal and local histories as an important learning outcome.
Our library created a mini-genealogy conference called Family History Day. The event, which took place on a single Saturday in October, combined our genealogy classes from previous years with new activities. This format allowed us to concentrate our staffing needs into one day and three spaces, rather than spreading the need for staffing throughout the month.
Ok, I’ll admit it. I don’t really know that much about genealogy, only that it is a hobby in which individuals trace their family histories. This appears to me to be a no-win situation, because I am always leery of what I could potentially discover. Would my family be a veritable rogues’ gallery of ne'er-do-wells that I would have to explain or apologize for? I could just imagine running into a fellow genealogical enthusiast at a local Jamboree and having to apologize to them AND their ancestors for the fact that my great-grandfather stole and ate some oxen from them in Jamestown!