Wisdom Wednesday: Libraries, events and family history month

August is New Zealand Family History Month and for the 4th year in a row, Auckland Libraries will be participating in this National event.

A variety of topics will be available at various libraries around the region, and will be announced towards the end of June. One of the major topics this Family History month will be WWI and all things military due to the 100 year anniversary of the start of WWI.

In August 2013, we held 71 events at 33 library venues across the region, 19 different family history topics with over 2000 customers attending (this compares to 55 events at 25 venues, 10 different topics and 1000 people during 2012's Family History Month).

Family history/genealogy research is a hugely popular topic. The growth in popularity of family history as a hobby and research topic can be attributed largely to TV programmes such as "Who Do You Think You Are?" and adverts such as that for AncestrydotComdotAU.

Access to family history resources is becoming easier due to so many digitisation programmes worldwide, allowing genealogical information to become available on websites such as Ancestry, FindMyPast, The Genealogist, ScotlandsPeople and FamilySearch, to name but a few of the main ones.

Libraries, Museums and Archives are also putting resources online making access even easier.

However, despite the worldwide digitisation taking place, its been estimated that less than five per cent of the world's records is available online. The rest resides in Libraries, Museums, Archives and in societies such as genealogical and family history societies and historical societies.

Libraries are usually the first port of call for people starting out with family history. Libraries have many resources available on shelves, in filing cabinets, in drawers - as well as online. Best of all, libraries have librarians. Experienced staff trained in assisting with reference and research questions. While its true Librarians don’t (and can’t) know everything, they are really good at finding things out.

If libraries don't have the exact information that you need, librarians are very good at finding out who does - whether its online or maybe just knowing that another institution has the information the customer is looking for.

A quote I like from Neil Gaiman:
Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one." 
Is a good illustration of this. Reference/research librarians are excellent at refining searches, and also analysing the results.

Auckland Libraries has significiant family history resources to assist the researcher.

Four Research Centres (North, South, West and Central) which all have a variety of New Zealand family history resources in their collections; West Auckland Research Centre has a partnership with the West Auckland branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG) in the Research Centre. which has some international resources; and Central Auckland Research Centre which has the largest international family history collection in a New Zealand public library.

Wellsford Library and Pukekohe Library, also have relationships with their local branches of the NZSG and hold their collections in these community libraries.

Ancestry Library EditionFindMyPast and the rest of our Family History eResources within the Digital Library is available at all 55 libraries and four Research Centres, so we always encourage customers to go to their closest community library in the first instance, and take advantage of what’s available locally.

At some point though, the customer may want to take a trip into the Central Auckland Research Centre  and come and see our specialist team.

So watch our website, our events pages, this blog and/or our Facebook page for more details . . .

Happy hunting


This entry was posted on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

Leave a Reply

Kia ora! Please leave your comment below.