Library offers series of programs to aid genealogy research

genealogy research
Elmhurst resident Shirley Burnside tells memories of her childhood school to her grandson, 13 year-old Calvin Wiersum. The Elmhurst Public Library's audio recording equipment in the Creative Studio allows them to record and keep the conversation on CD or MP3. (Photo provided by Elmhurst Public Library)

ELMHURST – With genealogy research rising in popularity at the library, a series of spring programs entitled, “Discover Your Story” are underway at the Elmhurst Public Library.

While digital records make the information of past generations more accessible than ever before, Programming Coordinator Kim Calkins said it’s important to remember the untapped potential in our current generation of family members, too.

“We see history through the lens of all that’s happened in the past,” says Calkins. “But we are also currently creating history.”

Using the resources at the library, Calkins hopes people find their own story by writing, archiving photographs and home movies, writing, and using technology to capture and store memories.

The Library’s Oral History Project encourages adults and children to have meaningful, face-to-face conversations to share stories in the Library’s Creative Studio using digital recording equipment.

“Discover Your Story” is all about asking questions like, “How did you meet Grandpa?” or, “what do you remember about the war?”

“When we learn about our family, we learn about our own story,” Calkins said. “We build empathy and connections. These days, it feels like everything is so immediate. We’ve been trained to react instead of absorb. Sharing experiences through our stories is a great way to build community, in the family or at large.”

For a complete list and registration info for “Discover Your Story” programming on genealogy research, visit