After a wonderful genealogy/ DNA friend helped me refind something again, I thought it might be wise to share some things I learned from this whole scenario!
#1 Save your work! Document what you find. Email it to yourself. Print it out. Don’t depend on being able to remember that you found and where you found it. (And keep track of where you look for items – make a list/ log.)
This is the big mistake I made! I thought I’d be able to find it again. Ooops! Nope. I think the database subscription from whichever access I was using didn’t renew its subscription? Either way, I had to have help re-finding it and the database it was in!
#2 Use the library! Your public library has FREE access to LOTS of stuff! Books, databases, computers (to access said databases among other things). Library cards are free as best I know and you’re likely not far from one whether you drive or not. And if you have a computer/ internet access at home or work, you can use that card to access the card catalog, databases, and your library account (put books on hold, renew checkouts) from places outside the actual library walls.
I live in Cobb County. I already had a library card from the Cobb County Public Library System (http://www.cobbcat.org/) and knew about accessing the databases in GALILEO from home since I work at a college and have access via work as well. GALILEO (http://www.galileo.usg.edu/library/cobbcat/search/) is Cobb County Libraries database access system. It’s like an online reference room of sorts and makes a great companion to the online card catalog. Most libraries are going to have this type of access whether they’re county, regional, or state libraries. I think librarians realize how much we like to access data and information digitally and work to make that happen and to add to the availability as much as possible.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve been underestimating the public library system here in Georgia?! It turns out there’s ANOTHER library that’s just as close as my usual branch that’s on my way home from work! And it might actually be close! So check for other branches or library systems, especially if you live near a county line. I’m not far from this library system – http://www.wgrl.net/. You might have to ask about this or do some ingenious Googling, but there might be options available! It wouldn’t hurt to ask a librarian if there’s anything cool you should know about their branch, system, neighboring branches or systems, or just libraries in the state in general.
Part of what makes this a cool option and find is something my grandmother actually told me about years ago. Both of them are retired from working at the library, but it’s my dad’s mom that I used to go to work at the library with and mentioned PINES from (http://pines.georgialibraries.org/about). For me and others like me, getting a PINES library card works IN ADDITION to my regular library card. It’s another option with more access as far as I can tell. (WHY am I just now looking into this?!) This at least gives me easy access to a whole nother library system as if it were my home one – as well as on the road across the state!
So those are my finds and tips from yesterday. What’s your big find from your library? Any cool programs? What about neat databases or access? Or is yours just gorgeous and phenomenal?
I’ll be back later to talk about the Georgia Room at the main branch for Cobb County, the Switzer Branch! (http://www.cobbcat.org/research/local-history/)