These guidelines address collection development, personnel, access, and fiscal considerations for genealogical services. They are intended to assist those who need to create a beginning genealogical collection and services in order to meet the above-mentioned responsibilities, the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, and the markedly increased public interest in genealogical research.
1.2 When necessary, genealogical patrons or their questions should be referred to system or
network resource centers, or to archives, government agencies, or libraries where the referring librarian knows that the needed research material that cannot be provided by the library through its own collection or interlibrary loan is available.
If a specific genealogical reference service cannot be provided, the library's general reference service should include assistance for genealogical patrons.
2.2 A genealogical collection should be developed and maintained to support the basic research needs of the community served by the library. An assessment should be made concerning the ethnic background and countries of origin of the members of the community served by the library in order to determine the scope of the genealogical collection. The scope of the collection should represent, at least, the majority of the community but not be limited to it. The collection should include basic materials on genealogical research procedures. These materials should include the widest possible range of nationalities and ethnic groups represented in the community.
2.3 In communities where private genealogical collections are accessible, without charge, to the general public, libraries may wish to consider cooperative collection development.
2.4 Basic annotated bibliographies of genealogical sources, reviews in library and genealogical journals, and reviews provided in authoritative digital sources should be utilized in materials selection.
3.2 Reference librarians should be trained to assist genealogical patrons with evaluation, search techniques, protocol, and use of digital data sources and services related to genealogical research.
3.3 The responsibility of referring genealogical patrons to archives, government agencies, and libraries requires that the trained reference librarian also know about the centers where genealogical resources are maintained. The collections and holdings of local genealogical and historical societies should be familiar to library staff.
3.4 Knowledgeable genealogical research volunteers may be utilized to supplement reference service provided to genealogical patrons by the reference staff but should not replace it.
4.2 Bibliographies or guides to reference, circulating and digitized genealogical materials and sources should be provided to enhance ease of access.
4.3 The acquisition and cataloging of genealogical materials should receive the same priority as other library materials.