Family Story Month

colorful fam

As discussed in a previous blog, there are a lot of ways to start talking with family   members and to begin sharing and recording family stories. Here are a few other suggestions:

Family Scrapbook – this one can be done very easily if everyone takes a special family memory and creates a page for the book. The next time the family will all be together, bring in a bunch of supplies and request everyone to bring photos or mementos of their favorite family memory. If you have family who won’t be able to make it, send them supplies and have them participate from afar! The completed pages can all be added to a book (a binder works well with page protector sleeves) and kept at someone’s house or passed from family to family to add to it.

What if your family is more active? Try taking trips to visit sites and places that are important to your family. Perhaps the school that all of the aunts and uncles attended, or maybe the farm where great-grandma grew up. Perhaps there is a camping spot where the family went every year growing up? Visit these sites to prompt old memories, and to create new ones.

The most important thing is to make connections and to keep those family memories alive. There are many resources out there that can help you to come up with projects or organization methods. Some of my suggestions are:

Remember, there are many free resources out there to use. Other resources may be subscription based, but check out your local library to see if they provide access for their patrons to use them for free! To listen to oral stories, check out the Library of Congress’ website, Story Corps, which records interviews and has a great list of questions you can ask.

Good luck, and keep those stories alive!


Online Students: Meet your Librarian in her “office”

This semester, Resnick Library is trying to expand its support for online students. We now have a dedicated online librarian. Meet Amanda:

Amanda will be holding virtual office hours in Zoom on Monday and Tuesday evenings for the next few weeks. Zoom is an online meeting platform (kind of like Skype, but with no downloading). Simply click this link to enter her “office”:

She will be in this virtual room from 7-9 pm this Monday and Tuesday, November 17 and 18. Click on the link any time to join and get answers to your questions about research and library resources (or just to say hi!).

If you’d like to try meeting in Zoom but can’t make these days/times, please e-mail Amanda ( to set up another time.

Article Linking Outage, UPDATE 11/12/14

Update, Wednesday 11/12: Article linking and search by journal title functionality appears to have returned. We have not yet received official word from the vendor that the problem is resolved, however, so please contact the library  (607-746-4644 or if you continue to experience problems with these services. Thank you for your patience.

We are experiencing some technical issues with our Find Articles-> By Journal Title search and full-text links from within our databases. Both of these services are currently down. This means that if you are trying to find an e-journal by searching this page: the page will not load (or may load extremely slowly).

This also means that if you click on a link that says “Full Text through LinkSource” or “Link to Full Text,” you will not be taken to the full text in another database. Links that say “PDF Full Text” or “HTML Full Text” are still functioning and will allow you to access articles during this outage.

We apologize for the inconvenience and will update this blog as soon as we hear that these systems are functioning again. If you need assistance finding articles during this time, the librarians would be happy to help you find alternate routes to the articles you need. You can contact the reference desk at 607-746-4644 or use the “Ask a Librarian” chat box on the right side of the library’s website and databases.

November is for sharing

mod family tree

November is the official start of the holiday season, at least when I think of it. I love the thought of gathering together with my family and friends on Thanksgiving, listening to their stories and recounting my own. It is a time when we look back and reflect, and are thankful for the people in our lives and the opportunities we have had.

Now is a great time to reach out and begin the task of recording these important events, stories, and family traditions. While we don’t want to think about this, as the generations before us grow older and pass on, we may lose many of these accounts when those who lived them first hand are gone. Who else has great-grandma’s pumpkin bread recipe? Or knows exactly what great-uncle Jerry intended the day he broke his leg falling off the roof of the garage?

It is important that, as a family, we take time to record this interesting, funny, and useful family lore. There are many ways that you can go about collecting information, from very involved to very passive. Below are a few that you can put in place in time for Thanksgiving.

Begin making a basic family tree.  Do you know your grandparents’ full names? What about their parents?  Where did they come from? There are many free family tree templates available online, just like the one at the top of the page.

Start a family webpage. There are many free and easy to use webpage building platforms out there. By creating a website, family from near and far can contribute and interact. You can post photos, files, and have interactive pages. Weebly and Wix are both great free platforms.

Another option would be to start gathering favorite family recipes and to create a family cookbook. What special ingredients does grandma add to her cookies that make them so tasty? Do all of the aunts and uncles have one favorite dish that great-grandma always made them? Including these in one place ensures that the next generations will also get to enjoy the family favorites.