"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press & Thorndale Champion
17 July 2003

Are Libraries Obsolete?

My column last week generated a lot of e-mails and letters! What a great discussion. This important issue as it relates to genealogical research and the future of libraries and books. Here are a couple of representative comments from my readers:

Jeannie Henning of Wheeler, Texas wrote, "I live in a little town of about 1,200 people. We have a small library that has some local genealogy. I use to help other people sometimes. I am not originally from Wheeler so it doesn't help me in my own research. The nearest town with a good size library with a good genealogy dept is nearly 100 miles from us. I work 6 days a week and that only leaves Sunday and most libraries are not open. I would like to be able to join an online library if there is such a thing."

Lou Parris shared, "Well, I certainly hope not! I am very afraid that the current approach to genealogy searching (quick and easy via the Internet) is generating a lot of false data. Scholarship is still scholarship - regardless of the means of access - and everything stills needs to be properly verified. Librarians know how to do this - and other folks see it as a real drag. I for one will continue to trust those who have spent their lives and careers studying genealogical research methods - not the quick answers provided by the Internet. OK, I have to say that: 1) I really haven't done a lot of genealogical research. My cousin, a history professor, has done quite a lot of meticulous research, and I'm leaning on his work, and 2) gulp, yes, I am a librarian (though not a genealogical one)!"

Thank you to everyone who responded and hopefully this topic will generate discussions at your local genealogy or historical society meetings.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Thursday, 24 July 2003 - 1960 PC USERS GROUP GENEALOGY SIG - TOPIC: Civil War Resources - 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Cypress Creek Christian Church & Community Center, 6823 Cypresswood Dr., 2nd Floor Room #30, Spring, Texas 77379 (off Cypresswood Drive, near Steubner Airline). For more information visit: http://www.1960pcug.org/.

Monday, August 4, 2003 - MONTGOMERY COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY Meeting - TOPIC: Basic How to Get Started in Genealogy - 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Montgomery County Library, 104 I-45 North (Hwy 2854 & I-45), Main Meeting Room, Conroe, Texas. For more information visit: http://www.rootsweb.com/~txmcghs/.

Thursday, Sept. 11, 2003 - HARRIS COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY - Topic: 20th Century Military & War Dead Research - 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Pasadena Town Square Mall, Harris & Pasadena Blvd. (formerly Tarter St.) For more information visit: http://www.hcgs.org/.

Sunday, Oct. 19, 2003 - GREATER HOUSTON JEWISH GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY FAIR - 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Beth Israel Synagogue, 5600 N. Braeswood Blvd., Houston, Texas. For more information visit: http://www.texsys.com/ghjgs/. FYI - Congregation Beth Israel will be celebrating its 150th Anniversary from September 2003 through May 2004. For more on this historic Texas Synagogue, visit: http://www.beth-israel.org/.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 26 Dec 2003 and was last revised on __________

Copyright 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604