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It’s not just about books anymore: Punxsutawney Memorial Library offering exciting online resources

January 17, 2013

Pictured is Punxsutawney Memorial Library Director Coral Ellshoff demonstrating how to use the library website to access different learning resources. Resources that can be accessed include the genealogy site HeritageQuest Online. (Photo by Destiny Pifer/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — This winter, the Punxsutawney Memorial Library is offering much more than exciting programs for children and adults.

The library is jumping head-first into the technology era by offering a few new online learning resources, as well.

These resources benefit not only the patrons who are stuck indoors, but also children and students who are eager to learn something new.

By accessing the library's website at individuals are able to click on links that will allow them access to online magazines or downloadable e-books.

One of the links connects patrons to the online library catalog, where one can not only search for books, but also renew a book that he or she isn't finished reading.

Individuals can also use that link to reserve a book that is already checked out.

Kindle users will find the OverDrive site very helpful, as it makes it possible to download e-books and audio books.

Three other resources that are available through the library website are HeritageQuest Online,

Ask Here PA and Power Library Network.

The HeritageQuest Online site is ideal for genealogy lovers looking to trace their family roots. All that is required to make the most of the research is a library card.

The card number is typed in through the library's main site and immediately connects individuals to the database.

Once signed in, access has been gained to census records, PERSI, U.S. Serial Set, Freedman's Savings and Trust Co., Revolutionary War records and an online learning center.

The census section includes census records for towns and states dating back to the 1790s. In the books section, there is information about ancestors, towns, regions and states.

The PERSI section includes information on people, places, how-tos and periodicals.

Freedman's Bank contains signatures of depositions in branches of the Freedman's Saving and Trust from 1865-1874.

And the U.S. Serial Set contains facts about people and places in memorials, petitions and private relief actions of the U.S. Congress.

Those seeking information on ancestors who fought bravely in the Revolutionary War may do so by entering either the surname or given name of the ancestor in question in the Revolutionary War section.

This will bring up records on who fought and if they were part of a particular service.

Last but not least, the learning center area contains a variety of helpful online video presentations including presentations on how to find ancestors and what military branch they served in.

It also includes the following sections to dive deeper into specific areas of interest: Native American genealogy, census tracking for beginners, Civil War research, African-American genealogical research, colonial immigration, colonial land records, county histories, family history research, National Underground Railroad, newspaper research, African-Native American ancestors of Indian territory, U.S. Courthouse research.

It even includes a section for those interested in learning genealogy in spite of a learning disability.

Another helpful site that you can access from the library website is Ask Here PA, which connects patrons and students to an online librarian. No matter where a person signs on from, he or she can access the site and connect through live chat with an actual librarian. The site provides online help 24/7.

In order to access the site, one must have a web browser with connection to Internet Explorer.

The last site is the Power Library Network, which allows patrons to search online magazines and journals.

Through this site, some wonderful resources for children and adults are available at the click of a mouse.

One such resource is Access Pennsylvania — an online card catalog for every Pennsylvania region.

A variety of links give access to helpful resources, such as a teacher reference center, an auto repair center, the Associated Press, a bibliographic database and SIRS Discoverer, which allows children access to browse a variety of subjects through the World Almanac, encyclopedias, current event information, maps, biographies and other learning activities.

These online resources provide access to learning tools, but on top of that, they also provide a place where anyone willing and eager to learn can access the information from anywhere — whether its from home, school or work.

Anyone with questions or who would like to seek help with using these resources should contact the library at 938-5020.

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