Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Library Manners & Filed Wrong

Apparently the several articles about "Library Manners" struck a responsive cord. THANK-YOU for sharing your personal experiences.

On a personal note, Ol' Myrt here just got her computer up and running at my Dad's house in Medina, so I am working through old email more readily than via internet access to my email box. There is a big difference between dial-up and high speed.

From: NameWithheld2
Yes, misfiling can be a big problem but it is not always the patron who misfiles things. I went to the Library of Congress to look up a Newspaper article on my New Orleans relative and I left a request at the desk to have a reprint made of the article. About 3 weeks later I got a letter from the Library of Congress stating that they could not find any article about my relative. The rules there are "only the employees can refile anything" so any misfiling was done by the employees of the Library of Congress. Since I had read it there was no doubt that an article did exist. It had been misfiled therefore they could not find it. A year later they still had not found it so the search was discontinued. I finally got a copy of the article from a person in New Orleans who found the article and copied it for me.

Please don't publish my name even though I probably will never again get to the Library of Congress!

Several times at the LOC in the Local History and Genealogy Reading Room, Ol' Myrt has been quite at the mercy of the tech staff (not the official librarian at the reference desk.) It seems text messaging is more important than answering questions about retrievals, even with 2 people in line.

Myrt :)

From: WRStrouse
I have been in many libraries doing research and am VERY careful to note where I got an item so that it can be refilled if I am allowed to do so. At the local library I was refilling what I had been using when a librarian expressed her appreciation but requested that in the future I let them do it because that is the way they kept track of the usage of their facility.

From: Karen
I had to laugh at an experience I had last month while I was visiting Salt Lake and the Family History Library. I had been through a rough few weeks and was feeling tired and depressed and just wanted to spend a pleasant afternoon looking at microfilms. I found a reader, stashed my binder to mark it and went to retrieve a couple of films. Just as I came up to my reader, I saw a woman pull her hand from my reader cubicle. As she saw me stop right in front of her she had that guilty look of being caught with her hand in the cookie jar. On the shelf of my cubicle was the film she had just placed there. I sighed and said, "I really don't want to put away your film, I have enough of my own."

"Oh, I guess I'll put my film away!" she said as she walked away in a huff. I laughed to myself as I sat down and shook my head.

From: nharamija
I have not been to FHL Family History Library (in Salt Lake City) but will attempt it later this year. My youngest son has moved to Tooele, a half hour drive from Salt Lake City, so I will try to research my Croatian Family. My question is: What is the policy on taking digital pictures of the screen while viewing the micro film? No flash? If necessary I would buy the film or if it is on a CD. I do think this an appropriate question concerning library manners.

One may take the microfilm to the photocopy center on the floor, where you can indeed save the pages from the microfilm to CD, in addition to the usual microfilm photocopiers. I have used digital cameras with both microfilm and books and there was no problem. Ol' Myrt is not aware of a program allowing FHL patrons to purchase rolls of microfilm.

BEFORE you go on your trip, be sure to use the Family History Library Catalog online. Print out the catalog entries for each microfilm and book you intend to review. Spend a good 40-50 hours doing this, because it will save you that time in Salt Lake City. Be sure to make a quick note on each printout about what you expect to find, i.e.:

-- Look for anyone by the name of "Haramija"
-- Locate marriage in 1853 of Lucile and Leonard Haramija.

This advice would apply to anyone planning a research trip. Fortunately most libraries have online catalog of holdings, and some sort of general descriptive catalog of manuscript collections. There are little tricks to learn, however. For instance, the State Archives in South Carolina does not house the manuscript collection, but rather many files with loose papers are across town at the South Caroliniana Library at the University of South Carolina.

Myrt :)

From: TeresaE
Curious if it's posted to restock your films? Some archives and libraries prefer that you NOT restock them. The Tennessee State Archives has a table where you are to replace the films and they put them away.

Anyone wishing to know about the policies and procedures for ANY library or archive, should first check the facility's website. For instance, when planning a trip to Salt Lake City to visit the Family History Library, Ol' Myrt recommends:

1. Go to http://www.familysearch.org/
2. Click the "Library" tab.
3. Note the navigation bar on the left has such categories as:
hours & holidays
key resources
library rules
floor plan
preparing for a visit

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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