Help! I have Genealogy Patrons A Three Part Webinar Series

Tuesday, 7/26/2022 - Tuesday, 8/9/2022
  • 2:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM (Pacific)

Libraries are a popular place for people searching their family history. Most librarians are not genealogy specialists, yet they frequently get genealogy questions. During this three-part webcast series, learn about genealogy principles and resources that can prepare you to help the next genealogy patron who visits your reference desk—without needing to become a specialist.

This will be a 3-part series including the following webcasts:

Webcast One:Genealogy @ Your Service Desk

Libraries are often tasked with handling genealogy requests from patrons who need guidance about the types of records that exist and how they can be located. Tina will cover how libraries can utilize and promote their genealogy and local history collections to users, and where to turn when patrons need help outside of their collection’s scope. She will walk library staff through the process of conducting the genealogy reference interview to fulfill the patron’s requests.

Webcast Two: Digging into Genealogy Sources

For those library staff interested in going a little deeper into sources, Holly will look at the most used types of sources in genealogy and family history research, show what information can be gleaned from them, and provide examples along the way using a case study. She will give an overview of the following types of records: census, vital records (birth, marriage, and death), obituaries, cemetery, military, land, and probate records.

Webcast Three: Free Websites for Genealogy Patrons

Learn about free websites librarians can use to point their patrons to for help, including the FamilySearch Research Wiki and many others.

Learning Outcomes

Webcast One: Genealogy @ Your Service Desk
Participants will be better able to:

  • Guide patrons to resources to meet their genealogy needs.
  • Utilize and promote their library’s genealogy and local history collections.
  • Conduct a genealogy reference interview.

Webcast Two: Digging into Genealogy Sources
Participants will be better able to:

  • Understand the main types of sources used in genealogy research, including census, vital records (birth, marriage, and death), obituaries, cemetery, military, land, and probate records.
  • Use information that obtained from such sources.
  • Help patrons to access and use these records.

Webcast Three: Free Websites for Genealogy Patrons
Participants will be better able to:

  • Use the FamilySearch Research Wiki, a key reference aid for genealogy.
  • Share with patrons many other free genealogy resources.
  • Provide tips for patrons when using these websites.

Who Should Attend

This series will benefit any librarian who may receive reference questions from patrons searching for their genealogy. It can also be of benefit to genealogy specialist librarians and librarians searching their own family history.


Webcast One: Genealogy @ Your Service Desk (Tina Beaird)

Tina Beaird is a genealogy/Local History Librarian at the Plainfield public library, lectures extensively on topics including Scottish resources, military research, and archival preservation. She is a member of several genealogy & history organizations including the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the Association of Professional Genealogists, Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board, the Northern Illinois Historic League, and the Illinois State Genealogical Society. She volunteers her time with several historical and genealogical societies across Illinois. She has been published in the National Genealogical Society Magazine, Association of Professional Genealogists eNewsletter, and the Federation of Genealogical Society’s Forum Magazine.  Tina has provided research assistance for twenty years and has been researching her family’s history, as time permits, for over thirty years.

Webcast Two: Digging into Genealogy Sources (Holly Hebert)

Holly Hebert is an assistant professor in the Master of Library Science Program at Middle Tennessee State University where she teaches librarianship, collection development, management, public libraries, and YA and adult materials. She has been interested in her family history ever since she was a young girl and has traced her roots back to Germany and England. Holly also holds a certificate from the Georgia Archives Institute, is a graduate of ProGen38 and is currently a member of the National Genealogical Society, the Central New York Genealogical Society, the Ostfriesen Genealogical Society of America, and the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society.

Webcast Three: Free Websites for Genealogy Patrons (Susan Kaufman and Cherie Bush)

Susan Kaufman is the Senior Manager for the Houston (TX) Public Library, Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research in Houston. She has been a genealogy librarian for more than 30 years and a presenter at local, state and national genealogy conference and meetings. She has held board positions in Illinois, Indiana and Texas. Recipient of the National Genealogical Society / ProQuest P. William Filby award for Outstanding Service as a Genealogical Librarian, Fellow of the Texas State Genealogical Society and the Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck Distinguished Service Award by the Dallas Genealogical Society. She is past President of the Texas State Genealogical Society, and currently serves as its Director of Education.  She is a member of the Texas Library Association and the American Library Association.

Cherie Bush is an account manager at FamilySearch International and oversees the FamilySearch Affiliate Library program. She is currently serving as the chair of the Local History and Genealogy committee of IFLA as well as supporting the RUSA Genealogy Committee.



Registration rates for the three-part series are as follows:

  • RUSA members: $116.53
  • ALA members: $177.75
  • ALA student members: $93.03
  • Non-members: $197.50

Bulk discount available, the more you register the more you save! Learn more at the new ALA eLearning Site

How to Register


Tech Requirements

This webinar will be offered using Zoom. Please ensure that you have internet connection. Audio for these sessions will be streamed over computer speakers and via a teleconference line. You will be able to ask questions and interact with the presenter and other webinar participants via chat. 

For assistance for the deaf or hard of hearing, please send your request via email to Ninah Moore at by July 8, 2022.


Questions about your registration should be directed to

Technical questions about the webinar should be directed to Ninah Moore, RUSA Program Officer-Continuing Education, at

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!