ANNUAL REPORT OF THE REFERENCE DEPARTMENT
GLOUCESTER LYCEUM AND SAWYER FREE LIBRARY
The department has only had one full time Reference librarian throughout the year. A new part-time staff member joined our department, Maria Zervos. Unfortunately she left but we were lucky to get a new person to fill the position, Beth Pocock.
The Reference Department did some extensive weeding, eliminating some older, outdated materials. We donated some of our discards to the North Central Correctional Institute.
We added new online databases and eliminated some that weren’t used very frequently. LearningExpress is an exciting new addition which has a multitude of information related to jobs, careers and education including a large variety of online practice tests, courses and ebooks. Another new database, AtoZ Databases, is a comprehensive listing of businesses and people. We also have added Home Improvement Reference Center which gives practical tips for household projects. We eliminated Hoover’s Knowledge Base since AtoZ Databases covers the same subject, business. We also eliminated Auto Repair Reference Center. We have been sending publicity to the newspapers about our databases and using other publicity such as signs and handouts. I gave a database presentation for the staff in September 2011 to familiarize them with our resources especially our new ones.
An exciting Public Records database project has been initiated through the efforts of Carol Kelly, a volunteer. For this project we have recruited volunteers to enter data from our card file of local births, deaths and marriages dating back to 1979 into an online database. This new database will make this information available online to genealogists.
A handsome new table and chairs for some of our Internet computers was added to our department. We also purchased a similar table and chairs for the microfilm machines.
We updated and changed the format of our “Selective Guide to Genealogical Resources” document to include our more recent genealogical materials. The guide will be available online.
Among an array of interesting reference questions we answered was one for a History Channel producer looking for the date fishermen switched from hand lines to trawling nets.
It’s been a busy year. Over 14,000 reference questions were answered throughout the library for the fiscal year.