Extinction of Public Libraries?
Wednesday I played hookie from work and left at noon and met my wife (who had the day off anyway) at the Belfast Public Library. I know people claimed in the 1990's that libraries would be extinct with the advent of the internet, but I can tell you for me that is not going to be the case.
The wife and I have families that helped settle Maine. Because of that we both got addicted to genealogy and colonial history. We have gone to the Belfast Public Library many times with Alyson and have been to story time and other kids activities, but never the third floor. It up being a treasure of books, lists and publications regarding New England history. For a few Alyson-Free hours Friday we dredged up a lot of neat information.
For instance I knew my family had a presence in the American Revolution, but we knew of one relative...turns out there was 10-13. The reason for the range is because there was multiple spellings for Amsden/ Amsdin/ Amsdan so we are not sure yet if the other three are misspellings of Amsden? We also found 2 members in the War of 1812 and Patty found her family had a presence in the Spanish American War. The same family had a lot to do with the granite quarry industry which was a huge industry in 1900.
I think the most interesting fact for the day of searching had to be the Yale connection. Seems as if an ancestor was a founding member of Yale University, and eventually a president of that college as well.
The point here is, Public Libraries are alive and well, and if anything, thriving. My wife can pay money to a bunch of genealogy sites or simply go to the 3rd floor of the Belfast Public Library, check things out online (for free) and then cross reference them with real books and documents. If you have not been to one in awhile, you may be surprised at what a real bricks and motor library contains. I know I was.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"