Using the Local History Room

To Use the Local History Collection

Patrons wishing to use the Local History Room and the Archival materials contained therein must make an appointment with Adult Services. Appointments must be made at least two days in advance, preferably a week. Let the department’s coordinator know through e-mail and a note on the schedule.

At the time of the appointment, some form of ID will be taken and held while the patron is in the room.

A staff member will accompany the patron to the room and remain there with them. There is a mobile phone and a computer for the staff member’s use. It will prove useful in helping the patron learn about online sources of information as well.

Archival and Photographic Materials

These materials are sometimes very old, fragile and largely irreplaceable.

They are stored in the locked metal file cabinets, map case, and display case.

Selection is done by looking at the card catalog or by looking at the Local History Archives Inventory Lists notebooks. Every inventory list from each folder in the file cabinets, is reproduced in these notebooks. Once a selection is made, the patron should ask the staff member to help them retrieve the file.

Books in the Local History Room collection are in the library’s online card catalog, in case the patron wants to check there first.

The staff member must check the contents against the inventory sheet in the folder before and after the patron uses the file.

More than one folder can be gotten out, but checking must be done.

Patrons wishing to copy materials must tell the staff member before they leave the room to use the copier. Books and other material that are old and fragile must not be put on the copier.

Patron should first ask about scanning or making photographs of their own from the collection. Scanning will also be bad for fragile material.

Protection of the Collection

The further protection of these valuable materials is the responsibility of the Adult Services staff members. The staff’s careful handling of archival items will impress the public and inspire their concern in turn.

Since all items in the lateral file cabinets are seldom of the same size, it is easy for smaller ones to fall out if the folder is tipped sideways when being returned to the drawer. Such tipping also frequently causes the legal-size pages to shift forward, beyond the folder’s edge, resulting in crumpling, tearing and unnecessary wear as these pages are caught under the metal edge when the folder is next removed.

Staff re-shelves and makes sure that all material is put away before leaving the room.