I'm fashionably late with week 6's task. That's ok, because my day job comes first. I am Director of Child Development in the Coffin household. I also am a taxi driver, a cook, a laundress and a "very unfair parent" according to a certain tween. This week, life got in the way, but now I am ready.
Week 6 of the "52 Weeks to Better Genealogy" written by said unfair parent and graciously hosted at Geneabloggers.com is as follows:
Online databases at your public library: Search your library's web site and see if your card grants you access to online databases. Libraries (even small ones) often have wonderful online tools including genealogy databases, historical newspapers and more! Take some time to play with these little perks that come with a library card. You just may get some help in your own genealogy research and gain some free research tools to boot. If you don't know how to access online library databases or you're not sure if your branch has them, ask a librarian for guidance. If you have a blog, discuss which databases (if any) to which your library subscribes.
The Harris County Public Library web site makes it very easy to access online databases with a tab that says "Databases." If you search by subject, there's a link just for genealogy! They feature library editions of ancestry.com and HeritageQuest.
But enterprising researchers know that not all the answers are found in the genealogy sandbox. I used this challenge to examine other databases and other subjects. There is a Texas section that has the Texas Almanac and Texas Sanborn Maps. I had completely forgotten about the library having these maps in their collection. This is why it's good to go back and take a resource refresher course.
I also checked out the historical newspaper access provided by the library. I entered some unusual surnames and found some different articles than those I've acquired through paid sources. None of the pieces fit my genealogy, but I was impressed to see that they had some different papers. I must remember to keep my library databases in the loop when it do a newspaper search.
What did I learn from this task? I learned that there is always more to learn about resources. And Sanborn Maps are really cool to look at.