I have one of the best volunteer jobs ever – or at least I thought I did. Let me explain.
I am the Library Liaison for the Colorado Genealogical Society. It is my job to buy genealogy-related books and donate them to the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Department, on behalf of the members of CGS past and present. It is a bibliophile’s dream! I buy books with someone else’s money and the library will store them for me. The books are available to researchers any time the library is open because the WHG collection does not circulate.
There is only one small problem: What to buy? You might think that it would be difficult to choose from among the many books available. I thought that, too, at first. I receive multiple notices each month from genealogy book vendors. One of this week’s offers contained “Ten Tempting Titles for Two Days,” advertising “40-50% off the retail price,” information on discovering “your roots in Massachusetts, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, or among the earliest Anglo settlers in Texas,” and “Revolutionary War, or War of 1812 origins.” There were several books here that may be useful to my research and I would happily add them to the collection.
Excitedly, I popped open the DPL catalog in my browser, and one-by-one, pasted in the ten titles. The DPL/WHG collection already contains eight of the ten titles on sale this week. One that they don’t have is Soldiers of the Revolutionary War Buried in Vermont and Anecdotes and Incidents Relating to Some of Them. I will order that one. The other title DPL does not already own is a CD of “Notable British Families.” From the description, it appears that information on the CD has been extracted from the volumes of Burke’s Peerage. I checked the catalog and DPL has four copies of Burke’s Peerage, so I think I’ll pass on the CD.
It turns out that the hard part of this job is not choosing from among many good books to buy, but finding high quality titles that DPL/WHG does not already own. No small task.
The genealogy collection at DPL is enormous. No matter where your ancestors were, the collection almost certainly has resources to help you with your genealogical search. Be sure to check the library catalog for the surnames and geographical areas you are researching. Talk to the librarians at the reference desk to get more ideas about where to look in the vast collection. If you are a member of the Colorado Genealogical Society and have book suggestion, pass along your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. It would help make this great volunteer job easier. Just be sure to check the catalog first as the WHG collection may already contain your desired book. If you are not a CGS member, check us out and consider joining (http://www.cogensoc.us ).