Last night we held our first meeting in out new, permanent home, the Landsdowne Room. Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre. The room will be just right for our meetings, with tables, chairs, access to WiFi and data projection and a small kitchen as well.
We started our evening in the foyer of the library, where Jeni met us. As the lift is small it took two trips to get us to the Local/Family History Resource room on the second floor. Jeni is the family/local history librarian and her knowledge local history and some of the first families is extensive. She is passionate about local and family history.
The local/family history room is long with resources on easy access as well as two computers and a table. Local history is at one end and family history at the other. It looks as if it would be a quite place to work but with 20 people in it, it was hard to tell. Jeni demonstrated to new computer system, that also takes micro fiche and micro film. What looks like a bench down the middle of the room holds hanging files, containing such things as old photos, maps, plans, subdivision plans. The list is endless. Several of us wanted to stay and research.
We were also shown what family history resources are held and how to use them. Births, Death and Marriage records for various state, convict and passenger records, council minutes, the history of Bankstown and suburbs are just a small amount of what is on offer. The library also has Ancestry and Find My Past, for people to use, free. There is also a collection of Historical newspapers.
Jeni explained that in the old library much of the resources were in compactus and couldn't be accessed and that they are able to be accessed now. Wonderful for researchers!
Bankstown Library has a good website http://www.bankstown.nsw.gov.au/index.aspx?nid=582 and this site is easy to use/ You can also ring (02) 9707 9728.
After this we went to our room, yes I know it belongs to council but it is nice to know we have a permanent spot. We welcomed a new member, Geoff and talked about what is happening, in the next few months and had a report from the treasurer.
Next month we are going to give the data projection a workout with a workshop on family history programs.