This is a guest post by George G. Morgan, President of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and an internationally-recognized genealogy lecturer. He is the prolific award-winning author of hundreds of articles for magazines, journals, newsletters, in genealogical publications, and at online sites internationally. His 12th book, the fourth edition of "How to Do Everything: Genealogy," was released in 2015. He is also co-host of "The Genealogy Guys" podcast, the longest running genealogical podcast, with thousands of listeners around the globe.
Gone are the days of librarians with their hair in a bun, wearing pince-nez, and shushing patrons. Libraries are now exciting hubs of information and activity in their communities. They provide computer equipment, databases of interest to their local populations, educational programs, and a wide variety of activities for every age group, as well as books, periodicals, microfilm, and more.
Many family historians attempt to conduct genealogical research exclusively from home using their computers. While there is certainly a vast, growing body of resources being made available online, we are a long journey away from having everything available electronically. On-site research will always be an essential part of our strategy.
As our readers know, one of my favorite blogs is The Signal, the digital preservation blog of the US Library of Congress.
A recent post, written by Mike Ashenfelder, spotlighted the National Library of New Zealand (NLNZ) and how it is making its digital cultural collections available to anyone with an Internet connection.
Over recent years , the NLNZ has moved towards aggregating its online collections and high-tech resources under an initiative called the National Digital Heritage Archive. On the front end, the NDHA built their own web tools and designed clean interfaces to make the user’s experience easy. And on the back end they partnered with Ex Libris and Sun (now part of Oracle) to develop an OAIS compliant repository.
One of the ways they've done this is through mandated legal deposit. This means that publishers are required to submit their publications to the library.