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Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society

Some Suggestions for Using the Pleasanton Genealogy Library

Patrick M. Lofft, Docent Chair

What might a genealogical researcher find at the Pleasanton Library?

We have over 1,000 books and 350 CD-ROMs in the genealogical collection at the Pleasanton Public Library. We have two computers that can be used to view and print pages from the Internet and/or CD-ROMs. At present there is no charge for printing these pages. One person called it the best publicly-available collection of CD-ROMs for genealogy in the San Francisco Bay Area. The genealogical magazines include The NGS Quarterly (National Genealogical Society) and Register (New England Historic Genealogical Society).

We have the microfiche for the California Death Index (CADI) from 1940 to 1995 and California Marriage Index (CAMI) from 1980 to 1985. These were especially useful before the California Birth Index (CABI) and California Death Index (CADI became available on RootsWeb on the Internet. Some information from other states, e.g. Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio, are also available on RootsWeb. We hope that additional states will add their databases in the future. See http://www.cyndislist.com/database.htm.

The Pleasanton Public Library also has microfilm for the Valley Times newspaper from about 1975 to the present.

How does a researcher learn what books might be in the genealogy book collection at the Pleasanton Public Library from the Internet?

Looking on the Internet ahead of time can make a genealogist's visit to the library much more focused and efficient.

The genealogy books are included with the other books in the Pleasanton Public Library website catalog so one can search by author, title or subject in the general catalog. One will find a few genealogy books mixed in with the general collection. However, most of the genealogy books are together in two of the stacks of bookshelves as a special collection, called the Pleasanton Genealogy Library (PGL). Alameda County, the City of Pleasanton, the Friends of the Pleasanton Library and L-AGS have all helped purchase materials in the PGL.

The way I find the library website is to first go to the L-AGS home page. Then I click on "Useful Internet Links." Next I click on "Libraries and Archives." Finally I click on "Pleasanton Public Library."

You also can get there more quickly by going directly to the Pleasanton Public Library web address .

Here I click on Subject and input "genealogy" before I click on "Search." This finds 1,241 entries for me. I could continually click on "Next Page," and progress through the collection. However, this is not especially an efficient use of my time.

It works faster if I can look for something more specific like a location such as "Ohio genealogy." This gives me 13 references shown under 3 subjects. Here I should find the books that look interesting and write down or print out their titles, authors and call numbers.

If I decide that the book titled "Early Ohioans' Residences From The Land Grant Records" compiled by Mayburt Stephenson Riegel looks interesting, I should write down or print out the location, call number and status (Genealogy Reference, 929.3771 RIEGEL).

This tells me to look in the Genealogy collection close to call number 929.20. Since the Genealogy collection does not circulate LIB USE ONLY tells me that I must use it as a reference book in the library. Sometimes for non-PGL books Status will say "Checked Out" or "Check Shelf."

Suppose I am wondering if anything might be there on the surname "Fiorenza" in the Pleasanton Library. Using "Fiorenza" under Subject shows me that "no matches found" in the card catalog. Looking up "Fiorenza" with Author or Title also gives me "no matches found."

What if I want to check on the surname "McFarland?" Here I find the title "McFarland collections" by Robert H. and Twilah M. (Seefield) McFarland in 1985 (Pleasanton Genealogy, 929.20973 MCFARLAND and LIB USE ONLY). Looking up McFarland with Author gives me some entries including both of these authors.

There are a few genealogy books that can be checked out because they are in the general collection. One example is "Roots" by Alex Haley. This is available either as a book or videotape.

Under author"PBS Home Video" you will find many entries including "Ancestors" [videorecording] / director, Thomas J. Lefler ; editor, Dianna Vozza by PBS Home Video, c1997, Vid 929.1 ANCESTORS

Where can a researcher find a current listing of the genealogical CD-ROMs at the Pleasanton Public Library?

We have a list on the L-AGS website that can be found by going to the Libraries page and clicking on "CDs at the Pleasanton Library." Note the newspaper index by Barbara Bunshah (CD-ROM call number BB 1) can be very useful for searching our local newspapers - the Valley Times, Livermore Echo, Livermore Herald and the Tri-Valley Herald back to July 1899. Currently indices are available from 1899 through 1965. In a year or two we hope to have the index through 1999. We are extremely fortunate to have such a research tool. So far, we have found no other CA area with such a local newspaper index!

When is the L-AGS docent at the Pleasanton Public Library to help visiting genealogists?

L-AGS has a docent at the Pleasanton Public Library every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m to 9 p.m. or request an appointment by sending an e-mail message to docents.chair@l-ags.org to assist genealogists from beginners to experts. We docents often learn more genealogy than the visitors do, as we become better genealogical detectives!

Where can one learn more about the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (L-AGS)?

One of the best locations to learn about L-AGS is the Society's website. Here you will find two locations where you may click for more information - "What everyone should know about L-AGS". This can be followed up by visits to any and/or all of our various meetings held each month that are listed on our website "Home Page." These include a regular meeting, a study group, a computer interest group and two software groups (Family Tree Maker and The Master Genealogist). We have on-line maps that will help you locate our various meeting places. Visitors are always welcome.

These pages were put together to help make a library visit more efficient. Please send your comments and suggestions to improve these pages to Patrick Lofft at docents.chair@L-AGS.org.

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01 Feb 2016, 21:22:45

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