Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The End of an Era

Today I attended Darlene Hamilton's retirement party at the Seattle Public Library. If you've done ANY genealogy research in Seattle, you've probably met Darlene. She has served as a genealogy librarian at the downtown Seattle Public Library since 1971--40 YEARS!
I can remember back in 1979 when I started working at Seattle City Light and needed something to do with my lunch hours. I used to ride the elevator through the old SeaFirst building and walk across the street to SPL and the genealogy desk on the first floor. Darlene pointed me to some great resources I may not have found without her assistance, especially the Boone Family Association files. What a windfall! And all those CDs the library used to have. I found all sorts of useful information in them.
One speaker at Darlene's retirement party today estimated that she had helped about 250,000 people in her 40 years at the library. I would submit that she helped EACH of those people with kindness, congeniality, patience and efficiency. She's probably broken down more brick walls for patrons than anyone else in Seattle!
What's perhaps more amazing is that Darlene has sat on the SGS Board for 40 years. That means she's sat through over 400 Board meetings without even having a vote. Darlene has been the "corporate history" of SGS for all these years and I, for one, have relied on her to tell us when we're trying to reinvent the wheel (so to speak). I can't imagine what we're going to do without her, but I sure hope she'll come back as a volunteer after she's finished kicking up her heels a bit.
Thank you, Darlene, for all you've done for Seattle genealogists and for genealogy in Seattle!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

SGS to be part of GiveBIG!

On June 23rd, the Seattle Foundation is sponsoring a one-day major donation effort to help support Puget Sound non-profits called GiveBIG. SGS has registered with them, so we are eligible to receive donations through the Seattle Foundation website on June 23rd AND to share in the "stretch dollars" that will be allocated proportionately to all non-profits that receive donations on that date.
I know that many of you sent in donations with your recent membership renewal. We don't want to hound you constantly about donating to SGS, but if you have friends and neighbors who aren't SGS members but possibly understand the importance of maintaining our library and facility, please mention to them that SGS is part of GiveBIG. Here's a link to our page on the Seattle Foundation's website:
We are listed under "Neighborhoods & Communities" and can most easily be found by putting "genealogical" in the search box. The only other genealogy society listed is the Jefferson County Genealogical Society.
Anything you can do to help get the word out about this special opportunity for SGS to receive donations would be most appreciated.
Thank you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Is SGS hard to find?

One of the topics discussed at Sunday's SGS Annual Meeting was whether or not our current space fills our needs. Now that our Archives Committee has discovered how many archival records are stored in our closet, it's pretty clear that we either need a bigger space or that we need to get rid of some of our current holdings to open up space for making our archival holdings accessible. There was a collective gasp when disposing library holdings was mentioned, but it is still an option.

During the general space disucssion, several people commented that even with the bright blue awning, the SGS library isn't very obvious to people driving by on Sandpoint Way NE at 40+ miles per hour. And it's even more difficult to tell if the library is open when you drive by. Suggestions for making the library more obvious included placing a sandwich board in the parking strip when we're open or installing a neon OPEN sign or a signboard in the planting area. What do you think? How can we make our SGS library stand out on a busy road?

Also, in case you haven't heard, our SGS website "raising" event is taking place this weekend. If you've ever been curious about how a website comes to life, stop by for an hour or two and observe the goings-on. If you'd like to learn how to create your own website using Drupal (free content management software that powers websites and applications), come on Sunday when our Drupal experts will be providing instruction. SGS is providing food for this event, so please sign up at by 9:00 pm Thursday.