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.
- An idea of a specific problem that you would like to solve or a specific person/branch of the family you would like to research, with an idea of time period and specific geographic location. Bring a back-up or two in case you aren’t successful – or are successful immediately! – with your first problem.
- Don’t bother to bring coins for the copy machines. The copiers use a debit card-type of system. Those who do not have an ACPL library card will get a copy card at the desk. Do bring dollar bills. The smallest amount that can be loaded onto a copy card is $1. Black and white copies cost 10 cents each. These cards also are used to pay for prints from the computers at 10 cents each.
- Bring a cable lock for your laptop computer. Nearly all of the tables are wired with electricity for your use. The Genealogy Center is in a public library, and will be very busy during the conference, so you will want to have the peace of mind of having your computer locked to the table when you peruse the book stacks.
- Feel free to bring your portable scanner, digital camera or other equipment. The Genealogy Center has no rules against the use of such equipment.
- Bring a USB drive or two. You can save scans from microfilm, research computers and copiers onto a USB drive.
- If you have an Ancestry.com subscription and you want to log into your own account, you might consider bringing a wifi “Hotspot” or “Myfi” or other aircard device. If you use The Genealogy Center’s computers or use ACPL’s wifi with your laptop, you will automatically be logged into ACPL’s Ancestry.com subscription. This is part of our licensing agreement with Ancestry. Some patrons have reported that they have success accessing their personal Ancestry accounts by logging in elsewhere – a hotel or a coffee shop – and, without powering off, bringing their laptops into the building already logged in.
- Check The Genealogy Center and Microtext catalogs under Databases>Free Databases at www.GenealogyCenter.org and bring with you a list of book call numbers and references to microfilms that you would like to search. Having these in advance will save you time.
- Dress for warm weather, but bring a sweater. August in northern Indiana generally is hot and humid, but some areas of the building, particularly the Microtext Room, can feel overly cool to some people.