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Genealogy Essentials: Helping Patrons Search for Family Roots

May Poll: Serving Latino & Spanish-speaking Communities

As of 2014, the Hispanic population is about 17.4% of the total U.S. population. Is your library reaching Latinos and/or Spanish-speakers in your community? We'd love to know how and what challenges exist for you.

Let us know here »

Curiosity about where one comes from is innate to the human spirit. Did my grandmother adorn graves with marigolds for Día de los Muertos too? Mom, why do we fast for Ramadan? Did my great-great-grandfather really elope from Ontario to Wisconsin? Where do my people come from? Who am I?

Our personal histories are often a mix of heritage, culture, ethnicity and religion. One way to connect with our roots is through genealogy research. So many internet-based tools exist to help our patrons explore their histories, but as library staff we can help guide patrons to connect successfully with the details and stories of their ancestry. 

On May 19, WebJunction will hold the free webinar Genealogy Essentials: Helping Patrons Search for Family Roots to show you how to assist patrons with genealogical questions using, a leading genealogy resource.

Most communities encompass many different cultures and heritages. This presents opportunities for libraries, and if you're looking for ways to expand how you bring together the different facets of your community, check out the archived webinar Community Engagement: Serving Diverse Communities Where They Are.

Knowing that Latino and Spanish-speaking communities are growing around the country, we're curious in our May Crossroads poll specifically if and how you are reaching these communities at your library. Let us know!

Recent Articles on WebJunction

We feature new WebJunction articles on our homepage each week. Here are some of our most recent additions.

Supercharge Your Storytimes

Supercharged Storytimes has just launched a library of resources to inspire storytime providers! This WebJunction program oriented more than 500 storytime providers to a research-based approach to storytime planning and delivery that supports the development of early literacy skills in children while fostering caregiver and parent engagement. And what happens when you gather hundreds of storytime providers for learning and sharing? You get fantastic ideas for making storytimes more interactive and engaging! Check out these ideas and resources in the free Supercharged Library.  

Supercharge Your Storytimes

How to Create a Robust STEM Library Program

STEM learning seems to be on the tips of tongues everywhere from teachers to library staff to the President of the United States. But starting a new area of programming can sometimes feel daunting. Shannon Peterson and Seth Ciotti from the Kitsap Regional Library share their experience and advice on how to create a robust STEM library program, from planning to program ideas.

How to Create a Robust STEM Library Program

Gamifying and Growing a Community Health Program at Springvale Public Library

Springvale Public Library (ME) ignited inspiration for their entire community with "Let's March into May," a ten-week interactive program encouraging people to engage in healthy activities. Learn from Springvale's experience building partnerships, engaging their patrons through gamification, and growing their programs.

Gamifying and Growing a Community Health Program at Springvale Public Library

Upcoming Webinars

To access all upcoming events and archives, go to the Events Calendar.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Genealogy Essentials: Helping Patrons Search for Family Roots

The advent of the Internet liberated genealogy research. With the resulting ease of access, individual genealogy exploration has blossomed. However, many people pay for research services, not realizing that they can go to their public library for free, reliable tools and assistance. In this webinar James Ison will teach library staff how to assist patrons with genealogical questions, using, a leading genealogy resource. Learn the reference skills necessary to determine a patron's research experience and reveal the problem to be solved. Learn how to orient patrons to available resources and introduce them to the principles of finding a record for a known ancestor. Become a better guide to your patron researchers and help them to connect successfully with the details and stories of their ancestry.

3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Above and Beyond: Developing a Culture of Organizational Citizenship

A healthy and effective workplace often stems from strong leadership. For supervisors, it's important to develop a team of individuals who work well together, do what needs to be done, and help each other succeed. Join us for a dynamic session to learn what it means to develop a healthy organizational culture, with an introduction to the concept of organizational citizenship behavior and its relevance to public libraries. You'll learn techniques to build and support a team that is willing and able to go above and beyond, and to help your library succeed.

3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time


Additional Online Learning

WebJunction Course Catalog

Our Course Catalog is free and open to library staff everywhere whenever you are ready to learn. We offer library-specific self-paced courses, webinar archives and other great learning materials.

Certificates of Completion are available to help library staff meet CE and LEU credit requirements. Create your free account and start learning today.

Other Free Learning

May features 66 free webinars in 19 different topic areas, from advocacy to volunteer management. These training opportunities are compiled and shared by the Wyoming State Library. Highlights in this month's webinar offerings include:

Drexel MSLIS Online - WebJunction Members

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