Friday, January 08, 2010

52 Weeks To Better Genealogy - Week 1 - The Library

Thanks to Amy Coffin of the We Tree and Thomas MacEntee of geneabloggers, there is a new series of weekly prompts called 52 Weeks To Better Genealogy.  The week one prompt is as follows:

Go to your local public library branch. Make a note of the genealogy books in the collection that may help you gain research knowledge. Don't forget to check the shelves in both the non-fiction section and the reference section. If you do not already have a library card, take the time to get one. If you have a genealogy blog, write about what you find in your library's genealogy collection.

Living in the greater Los Angeles area, there are a few library systems to choose from.  The largest being the Los Angeles County Library system with 100+ libraries and five bookmobiles. Three of these libraries are within my daily driving range.   The second largest is the Los Angeles Public Library system with 60+ locations.  There are also three of these libraries within my daily driving range.  The smallest of the local area library systems (and my favorite) is the Torrance Public Library System.  This systems consists of six branches with three of them within my daily driving range.
I choose the main Torrance Library (officially named the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library) for my library search.  Ok, just so we're clear... I cheated.  I did not GO to the library but used the online library catalog to find out what genealogy things were available.  (That being said, I am planning on pursing the stacks next week.  I've got books to return after all.)

When I first started genealogy, I went to this library and found some books that got me started in the right direction but I was disappointed in the selection available. Most of the general books where more then 20 years old!  While that was OK to start with, after all basic, "get you started" genealogy hasn't and doesn't change, I wanted more recent titles.  Sorry to say I never went back to that section check if any thing had changed since my first experience there.  So I was completely and pleasantly surprised to find that they have some of the most up to date general genealogy books on the market!  (Way to go Ms. Paula Weiner, City Librarian!!)

Here is a listing of a few I found in the library catalog when I did a subject search for "genealogy":


This library is also home to the local genealogy society, South Bay Cities Genealogical Society.  Their book and periodical holdings are available to the public anytime the regular library is open but these holdings do not circulate.

As a side note, I found out via the library website that the library offers "Online Obituary Requests".  From the website:

The Reference Staff will search up to three names for obituaries in the columns of the Daily Breeze (1966 - present) or the Torrance Herald (1914-1970). Requests must include the decedent's full name and date of death. Staff will only search for those individuals who passed away within the City of Torrance. There is no fee for this service, however please allow up to three weeks for a response.

Copyright © 2010 Regina De León. All rights reserved.

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