For some FGS Conference attendees, this might be your first trip to Fort Wayne and to The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library (ACPL). Or perhaps you visited us before our building renovation, or when the library was in its temporary location for the four years of that construction. In any of these situations, you might like some “insider” tips about what to bring and what to expect when you use the collection.
Yesterday we featured some tips on What to Bring to the library. Today we highlight some Things You Need to Know to have a successful research visit.
Things You Need to Know:
- Please ask questions. When we give tours of The Genealogy Center, we tell groups that our “Ask” desk is one of the most important spots in the department. The Genealogy Center considers its staff one of its greatest resources, and we take pride in our customer service. It will be a busy, bustling place during conference week. You might have to wait a few moments to have your questions answered, but we plan to have volunteers on hand to partner with the staff in helping patrons use the equipment, locate materials and determine what their next research steps might be.
- If you visited The Genealogy Center before the move to temporary quarters during the building renovation, you might remember filling out call slips and having your books brought to you by pages. Now all of The Center’s stacks are open for browsing with the exception of some original Allen County, Indiana, courthouse ledgers that must be paged.
- All materials in the collection may be photocopied, except the original Allen County courthouse ledgers mentioned just above. Those may be photographed. A few items, primarily atlases, are too large to be copied on one sheet, but may be copied on two or more pages.
- Copiers will make 8 ½- by 11-inch or 11- by 17-inch copies. Black and white copies of either size are 10 cents each. Two of our four copiers will make color copies, which are 25 cents each.
- As noted in the “What to Bring” section, you can scan images from print materials on the copy machines to a USB drive. However, the copiers have set defaults and you do not have much autonomy with file formats. Be aware that you may not be creating an archival-quality scan from the copy machines. You have more control over file formats with the microfilm scanners.
- Load the smallest denomination ($1 minimum) onto your print card that you think you will use during your trip because there is no way to get a refund for what you don’t use. You can, however, keep the card and bring it back when you next visit.
- If you need change for a $5, $10 or $20 bill, the check-out desk on the first floor has a cash register. The Genealogy Center does not have a cash drawer.
- Dunkin’ Donuts on the library’s first floor has an ATM machine.
- The library takes up an entire city block and is bordered by Washington Boulevard on the south, Ewing Street on the west, Wayne Street on the north and Library Plaza – formerly Webster Street – on the east.
- The library’s physical address is 900 Library Plaza, but if that doesn’t work in your GPS, try 900 Webster Street, its former address.
- The library has parking in two surface lots and a garage under the building. A small surface lot east of the building has an entrance on Wayne Street. The garage also has an entrance on Wayne Street. The library’s large lot is on the southwest corner of Washington Boulevard and Webster Street, with an entrance on Webster. A map at http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/virtualtour/AcplFirstFloorPrint.pdf, shows parking locations.
- Parking in the library’s lots or garage is $1 per hour, with a maximum of $7 per day. If you park in the garage, you must move your car out of the garage by closing time each day, even when The Genealogy Center has extended hours during the conference.
- You will be prompted to take a ticket when you enter library parking. You may bring that ticket into the building and pay with cash or a credit card at a kiosk on the first floor within 15 minutes of leaving the parking facility. Or, you may pay in the garage or lots as you leave with a credit card.