Without a doubt my most favourite offline genealogy tools are public libraries!
My husband laid the law down a few years ago about my spending on books. He is quite right of course...there are only so many books one can store in one's home and we have surely exceeded our quota.
The other point is that often I will buy a book and it's not what I thought it was going to be or I only use it once and then it sits there collecting dust. So why not go to your local library and check out their genealogy collection.?
Genealogy books can be found under 929 in the Dewey Decimal system.
But more importantly libraries are about so much more than books.
There's magazines...now there's a saving if ever there was one. Australians are famous for their consumption of magazines. Check out the ABS statistics here. Here's a way to save money AND the environment. Some popular titles are Your Family Tree and The Australian Family Tree Connection.
Libraries have DVDs too. You can check out all the series of Who Do You Think You Are? and other historical titles.
|Local and Family History Room at Caboolture Library|
Your local library might be lucky enough to have a local and/or family history section. I have just started working for Moreton Bay Regional Council and Redcliffe, Strathpine and Caboolture residents are very lucky to have such rooms. Patrons can access the Library edition of Ancestry for free and other great resources such as CD-ROMs, newspapers, microfilm, microfiche and maps.
Your local library may run workshops, often for free, aimed at beginners or in specialist areas. There you can meet other researchers and share the trials and tribulations of your research journey. Some libraries provide a place for family history groups to meet. The Brisbane City Council's offers some workshops in Family History too - search their Library events page here.
The State Library of Queensland family history section is located on Level 3 of the Southbank building. You can read all about their collection here. SLQ also has a digital community noticeboard for family historians called Nnub. If you sign up you will receive a weekly newsletter telling you what's on around the place in terms of events, talks etc.
Have I mentioned the fabulous people that work in libraries? Don't be shy to ask them for help will you? They are usually very friendly people and love a challenge. They might not have all the answers but they usually know where to go to find them. And they can dance!
I love public libraries. Do you?