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HCPL Genealogy Room Policies

The North Carolina Room of the Henderson County Public Library is available during library hours for family history research. The following policies should clarify the library's ability to assist patrons with genealogical needs.
  • By accessing the Internet in the North Carolina Room, an individual has agreed to abide by the Internet Policy and Computer Assistance Policy. The two policies are posted in the library and copies are available at the reference desk.
Librarians and volunteers will provide:
  • Assistance with research strategies utilizing print and electronic resources.
  • Brief informal library catalog instruction.
  • Access to locked cabinets.
  • Brief orientation to the content of the genealogy room.
  • Basic help with software applications - but ultimately it is the patron's responsibility to know the program he/she is using.
  • Appropriate tip sheets and/or manuals.
  • Referrals to online help screens and/or computer classes offered at the library or locally.
  • Brief explanation of use of microfilm/microfiche readers.
  • Help locating a book or microfilm not in its appropriate location.
  • Assistance with library equipment problems.
Genealogy and family history questions and queries usually require thorough information from the patron and meticulous research. Thus, reference staff can only assist temporarily due to the abundance of other patron needs. The reference staff can assist a patron with a basic genealogy question or briefly demonstrate the use of a database. The staff may not be able to fully answer the question due to time constraints and the depth of research needed.
  • Volunteers are available at certain times during the week to provide more in depth assistance to patrons. However, patrons must remember these individuals are volunteering their time and knowledge and may not be able to answer all patron questions or provide in depth assistance.
  • Questions left with the reference staff and Genealogy Room volunteers will be answered as quickly as time permits. However, the patron's question may not be answered as thoroughly as expected.
Ultimately, genealogical research is very specific to an individual and very time consuming. It is expected that patrons have basic knowledge of how to research family history or have the option to attend library offered genealogy classes.

August 2007