Happily, these effects haven't yet reached the Local History Department of the Van Buren District Library. 2011 statistics show that in-house (used only in the library) usage of books, microfilm and vertical files was up 12% from 2010, and the number of visitors to the collection was up 20%. These increases, despite a reduction in service hours this last summer, come after a few years of steady decline from more robust numbers in 2006 & 2007.
To what do we credit these increases? To no small end they can be attributed to the continued support of Local History volunteers. Researchers have not only enjoyed access to the largest Southwest Michigan genealogy & local history collection anywhere, but they have reaped the added bonus of one-on-one research assistance provided by staff and qualified volunteers who in 2011 donated a collective 1,991 hours.
Family history has also taken front stage on television through the new famous Who Do You Think You Are? series and by the influx of Ancestry.com commercials. Both stress that tracing your family can be affordable and rewarding for individuals from all walks of life.
Nameless Picture of the Day
unknown woman & child
taken from the photo scrapbook of Amy (Palmer) Jackson,
1919 graduate of Bangor High School
Can you identify the young mother and child in this photograph, probably taken in or near Bangor, Michigan? Please contact us if you any information and we will publish it in a future blog. Please include the photo's catalog number with your e-mail.