Genealogy and Moving on the Last Day of SAA.


Last but not least, they had two sessions and a business meeting on Saturday morning.

Cross Pollination: Genealogy in Public Library Special Collections Session 601

The second to last session, I went to was Session 601 Cross Pollination: Genealogy in Public Library Special Collections. I attended this session because as you all know I have researched my family history.

This session brought up a good point that as a genealogist I have experienced. Some genealogist are unfamiliar with the resources in an archive as well as do not know where to go for help. We need to remember that everyone was a beginner at some point. As professionals we need to take time to explain what records we have and how our repository can help genealogists research their family history. In order to make our collections available to genealogist, we need to partner with local historical and genealogical societies. We need to promote our collections. This goes back to the session on Beyond Measure: Telling the Story of Archival Value. Once a person finds a record they start seeing the value of our repository.

Also, we can hold workshops regarding the genealogical material that can be found in our repositories. For example, the East Baton Rouge Parish Library holds courses for genealogist to take in order for them to become familiar with the library’s collection.

Below are some Genealogy Resources that may be of assistance to you:

-Fostering Family History Services: A Guide for Librarians, Archivist, and Volunteers by Rhonda Clark and Nicole Wedemeyer Miller

-RUSA Genealogy 101

-they have a preconference workshop at ALA that is free and you don’t have to go to ALA to attend the workshop

NARA  Website is a great source for genealogists

Moving, Moving, Moving Session

The last session of SAA 2016 was called Moving, Moving, Moving. This was an appropriate end to the conference since I would be moving from my hotel room in Atlanta to the land of heat and humidity otherwise known as Baton Rouge.

This session provided great insight into moving a repository from an old building to a new building. One presenter went through four managers in three months and plus the repository was in the process of moving.

First, communication and planning is key to moving a repository. Make sure that you speak with the planners and designers about what you need as well as make sure it goes into the plan. One presenter stressed the importance of being your own advocate in regards to the needs of your repository. There is not such a thing as over planning when it comes to moving archival material.

Before the actual move, be proactive in talking with people who are cleaning out there offices because they may have archival material that needs to be placed in the archives.

Before moving archival material there are several things that needs to be done. First, rehouse anything that is loose and ragged. One presenter used shrink wrap in order to wrap fragile volumes to minimize damage during the move. Secondly, map the collection from the old storage location to the new storage location. One presenter created a spreadsheet of the stacks and vault to record where everything was going in the new space. Thirdly, consider the path that you will take to transport the materials to the moving trucks. Are there any barriers such as stairs or sharp turns that would make moving the material difficult?

During the move make sure you provide recaps of each moving day in order to brief everyone on what happened the day before, any issues that have come up, and what is going to occur on the current day. When the time comes to actually move the material, remember to keep track of what goes on each truck. Have someone who writes down what went on each truck and then verify that information once the truck gets to the new repository. Also, take photographs to document the move as well as the process.

Remember that you will overlook details as well as hire experienced movers. Also, contact other repositories to see if they moved recently and how they handled the move. In other words learn from others.

The panel also stressed that the safety of your people always comes before the safety of your collection.

A resource was provided: Moving Your Libraries by Steven Carl Fortriede

In the next blog post, I will talk about Session 208: Providing Access to Collections for People with Disabilities.


Written By: Blake E. Relle



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