Posts Tagged ‘Wilmette Public Library’

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy — Challenge #6: Online Databases at the WPL

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Amy’s sending us back to our local public library this week for 52WtBG Challenge #6, but we get to visit it virtually this time. That’s good, since I’m already two days late with this.

Online Genealogy Databases

The WPL has Ancestry Library Edition, but you can’t use it remotely — only at the library itself.

Here are the online databases I can access at home with my library card number via the Wilmette Public Library’s website:

With no need to enter my library card number, I can also access some hand-built newspaper indexes of local interest, including:

A vanity search of our son’s name in the Wilmette Life index yielded 23 entries, including an article for each musical performance he participated in at New Trier High School.

There’s still plenty more for me to explore here… though these resources might not be of great help in my own research yet, it’ll be nice to be able to share them with patrons at the Wilmette Family History Center when they come in asking. We’re hoping that the current run of genealogy-focused television shows bring us some new first-timers over the next few months.

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy Challenge #4: Inter-Library Loan

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

This week Amy Coffin asks us to:

Learn about your local public library’s inter-library loan (ILL) policy. Pick a genealogy-related book that you want to read that is not in your library’s collection. Ask the librarian how to request the book from another library.

I’m feeling a little lazy tonight (and it’s been about 15 degrees out every night this week here in Wilmette) so I decided to just fulfill this assignment online. The Wilmette Public Library website lets me scan both their local catalog and a broader selection of materials available at other Illinois libraries.

As mentioned in my previous 52WtBGC posts, the WPL — my local community library — has a good selection of popular genealogy how-to books and local resources that I haven’t even touched yet. But after a brief scan of the online catalog, I picked a book that looked like a good candidate to borrow via ILL: Elizabeth Powell Crowe’s Genealogy Online, eighth edition.

wpl_ill_search

As you can see, lots of libraries near me have copies of this book on their shelves. I clicked on the “Place Hold” button to submit an ILL request. I then entered my wife’s library card number and password (mine wasn’t handy for some reason) and that was it. She’ll be notified via email when the book arrives.

As Amy mentions, ILL is a great way to expand the reach of the materials you can access from your local library. And it’s a lot cheaper than just ordering the books I want from Amazon, which unfortunately tends to be my default search strategy. Thanks, Amy, for helping me build some more frugal research habits!