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03 August 2009

At the Library: A New Reference Homepage for Patrons

Something new has been added to the CGS computers. Designed to give welcome visitors and give them a starting place, "At the Library" is another innovation to make the technology as user-friendly as possible.

The first thing our patrons see is "Welcome To Our Library."

We are glad you are here! We will make every effort to make your visit to the California Genealogical Society Library comfortable and successful. If you have any questions or need help with equipment, please don't hesitate to ask.

Is this your first time here? If so, please ask for a tour of the library.

At the library, we offer access to subscription internet sites (to the left), the library catalog and reference indexes.





You many recall that the computers themselves are a new purchase for the library thanks to the generosity of our members.

It's the volunteer members of the CGS Computer Committee who keep hardware and software humming along and who handle any problems that may arise. The current members of the committee are Al Clark, Paul Mayer and Kathy Watson. Each Monday, one or two of them are at the library performing maintenance activities and fixing any reported problems. Paul has undertaken the effort to clean up the old computers. Al is the mainstay of the committee with the longest participation and history of the computer environment at the library.

Kathy gave me a quick tour of the "At the Library" features and she also showed me the special Desk Duty version installed on the computer at the reception desk. Calling it her brainchild, Watson informed me, "When there was talk of revamping the reference notebook for the Desk Duty Committee, I was inspired to deliver an electronic version rather than another paper version."

The reception desk version of "At the Library" is password protected and is designed to become an online procedure manual. Kathy's plan is to create a web version of everything in the CGS desk manual so volunteers will have every piece of information "at their fingertips."

Both versions of "At the Library" feature links to the CGS Library Online Catalog and to the following databases:

American Memory: California
Ancestry Library Edition
California Genealogy
Family History Archives
Family Search
Footnote.com
Historic American Newspapers
Information Wanted
Library of Congress Catalog
NewEnglandAncestors.org
Newspaper Archive
Rootsweb
S.F. Genealogy
World Vital Records
Vital Search-CA
Vital Search-World

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