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ScotlandsPeople Culture in Communities Don Martin: East Dunbartonshire Libraries & Cultural services.

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Presentation on theme: "ScotlandsPeople Culture in Communities Don Martin: East Dunbartonshire Libraries & Cultural services."— Presentation transcript:

1 ScotlandsPeople Culture in Communities Don Martin: East Dunbartonshire Libraries & Cultural services

2 The ScotlandsPeople Website Set up in response to the huge interest in family history especially that of the Scottish diaspora overseas GROS, NAS & Lord Lyon’s Court 50 million records Really quite expensive 30 credits for £6.00 Normal access via credit card

3 What’s on the Website Statutory register of births, 1855-1906 Statutory register of marriages, 1855-1931 Statutory register of deaths, 1855-1956 OPR births & marriages 1553-1854 Census returns 1841-1901 Wills & testaments

4 Library Pilot Project April-September 2006 To support social inclusion To develop ICT & information literacy skills To encourage new people into family history To widen access to ScotlandsPeople To organise taster sessions to help develop skills To increase awareness of public library resources

5 Library Pilot Project Arrangements Piloted by four library authorities Half price introductory offer ( i.e. 60 credits for first £6.00 instead of 30) Top-up vouchers at 20% discount Special registration Library and home access Taster sessions a key part of the project; credits available for those

6 Library Pilot Project Problems Technical problems Novice users found system difficult Library staff needed very careful training to cope Learners on taster sessions had disparate ICT skills Voucher supply (top-ups)

7 Library Pilot Project Achievements Elements of social inclusion achieved Evidence of improvement in ICT skills New people encouraged to take up family history Many people introduced to the ScotlandsPeople website Taster sessions a considerable success Library resources successfully promoted

8 Library Pilot Project Some Lessons Learned The interest in family history continues to develop and expand People like to study their family history in the friendly surroundings of the library People don’t often use family history as a route into other learning activity Family historians don’t always take an interest in social background

9 Family History & Community History Should always go together Community history the aggregation of the histories of local families Library community history projects more popular if they include an element of family history ‘Agents in the community’ will get round families to gather material ‘People rich’ exhibitions always very popular Series of such exhibitions in Strathkelvin

10 ScotlandsPeople & Community History Very limited as source of community history Social history of families not well covered Therefore very important to integrate use of Scotlandspeople with use of library local studies collections (& archives) Census returns helpful, but microfilm format free of charge in libraries (not available in future?) Could family history centres in registry offices marginalise libraries?

11 The Tail Wagging the Dog? Dog more important than its tail, but… Tail now very long… …and growing longer Length needs to be kept under control Or dog will be forever chasing its tail The integrity of the dog’s body should be paramount Dog can still be proud of its tail

12 The Way Forward ScotlandsPeople pilot successful Will roll out to all library authorities Training will be provided, possibly in conjunction with LOCSCOT Very helpful to integrate into library services in this way Resources of local studies collections appreciated by family researchers Apart from the tree specialists!

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