Thursday, January 14, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: Week 2

New Lenox Public Library
Thanks to Genea-bloggers and Amy from WeTree for coming up with 52 blog ideas for 2010. Here's week 2. Visit your local public library and describe their local history and genealogy collections. I would love to describe the local history and genealogy collections at the New Lenox library..
First of all, let me start by saying--I work part time in the Adult Services/Reference department at the New Lenox Public Library and I LOVE my job! The library is located in Will County, south of Chicago, Illinois. The population of New Lenox is approximately 25, 000 people. The picture above is the "new" building for it is only 8 years old. It is about 56,000 square feet and BEAUTIFUL inside and out. In my opinion it is clearly one of the most beautiful libraries in the area.
Although our local history collection is not very large, what we have is priceless! Our book collection consists of materials not only on the community of New Lenox from the 19th century, but Will County history, Cook County history, the Civil War and local heroes, schools, churches, and of course local historical and genealogical societies. We have a bulletin board devoted to stories and photographs of early New Lenox settlers, churches, schools and businesses.
Last fall our library participated in a local history preservation project. We digitized many New Lenox photographs, obituaries, histories, and news stories from the 19th and early 20th centuries. This New Lenox: History in the Making project is still in the works, as more material is being gathered and will be added to the website.
Our collection doesn't stop there! We have a small collection of newspapers on microfilm. However, patrons visiting the library can easily access our internet database of the Chicago Tribune Historical Archives and many other Chicago newspapers. New Lenox library card holders can access most of our internet databases on genealogy from the comfort of their own home! is the only database that must be accessed at the library.
An area that many times is overlooked or missed by patrons searching local history is the pamphlet file. Not only do we have government documents regarding New Lenox but, we also have a super collection of publications by the South Suburban Genelogical and Historical Society and the Will County Historical Society. "Where the Trails Cross" and "Civil War Rosters" are two such publications.
Of course our reference materials include many genealogy books. Being part of a large public library system, if we don't have a particular book in our collection we can usually request it from another library or even an out of state library (for a small fee). I take advantage of our "Interlibrary" loan policy many times! Another plus--our library receives the Ancestry magazine--one of my favorite magazines too!
New in 2010 is our Genealogy Club which meets once a month! Our first meeting was this past Tuesday and we had a great turnout!
Wow, I for one look forward to more club meetings and our collection of local history and genealogical materials continuing to grow!


Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Thank you for sharing your collection. You've made your library sound so appealing! I wish I could visit.

Taylorstales-Genealogy said...

Thank you Amy, I would love to give you a tour!

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story about your library. Your community is very fortunate to have it and people working there!

Keep these ancestor stories coming!

Bill ;-)
Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!