I love to teach young people how to utilize the internet for family history research, but I also LOVE to expose them to the beauty of old books on shelves and the thrill of hunting for hard-to-find records. It’s detective work, and bright young brains are good at it! I was sixteen when my grandfather introduced me to a family history library. It became one of my favorite places, and I’ve been going ever since!
In just a few minutes, these two had found the records they were looking for, messaged the information to their “client,” and had a little extra spending cash in their pockets. And while a paid job is what got them in the door in the first place, they learned some library skills, and more importantly, they now know the value of the library.
Just for kicks, I showed them the microfilm readers … the tools researchers like myself relied on for the bulk of our information (not so long ago). Interestingly, the teenagers were entertained by this somewhat archaic tool (which is not yet useless, despite digitization efforts). While I was busy on the library computers (ironically), they kept asking for film jobs … “What do you need me to find on film for you, Mom?”