Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



Published in Genealogy and the Librarian: Perspectives on Research, Instruction, Outreach and Management, edited by Carol Smallwood and Vera Gubnitskaia (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2018), pp. 85-93.


Copyright (c) 2018 Carol Smallwood and Vera Gubnitskaia. Used by permission.


This case study examines the development of a new program to foster genealogical research in an academic library that did not encourage or promote genealogical research. In early 2014, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries set a strategic initiative of increased outreach. As one way to reach the goal, the staff development officer and the community engagement librarian proposed a genealogical program with three objectives: • to reach out to campus faculty, staff, and students • to involve library faculty and staff • to bring community users into the academic library The staff development officer and the community engagement librarian became the program's coordinators. They developed the program by initiating Genealogy Over Lunch and Genealogy & Family History Day as focal points to bring people to the library for interesting discussions to help the library's staff understand how family historians can use their expertise, and to introduce more researchers to the library's underused large collections. Planning, resources, publiCity, and assessment were crucial to the success of the program.