Ancestry Back to In-Library Use Only

We knew it was likely to happen eventually…

Green leaves and blurred highlights in the background build a natural frame in panorama format

Ancestry is now back to its pre-pandemic use and can only be accessed as a resource when in an ACLA library. You can still use this genealogy resource to your hearts content you just need to come back into a library to access it.

There was a brief disruption when this changeover from remote access back to in-library use occurred but things should be back up and running smoothly. Please continue to access historical, biographical, and genealogical information from Ancestry at your leisure from the comfort of your local library!

Happy Hunting Genealogist Friends!


Northland Public Library

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FamilySearch and You

Did you know a collection of over 5.7 billion digital images, books, microfilm, and other records is available for the low, low price of a free account?

FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization and website offering millions (and billions) of genealogical records to the public. To date, users have added over 1.3 billion persons to the collective family tree.

All these numbers are a bit overwhelming, so FamilySearch has put together a starting page to make diving in easier than ever (

From designing your own family tree, to saving your own digital photos and documents, FamilySearch is a great alternative or supplement to (available for free to patrons at your local library! Check out a great guide from December 2019 here).

Additionally, many libraries within Allegheny County have been granted FamilySearch Affiliate Library status, affording users greater access to documents while accessing FamilySearch from a library computer! Allegheny County libraries with affiliate status include but are not limited to: Andrew Carnegie Free Library, Bethel Park Public Library, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Cooper-Siegel Community Library, Northland Public Library Authority, Pleasant Hills Public Library, Sewickley Public Library, Shaler North Hills Library, Sharpsburg Community Library, Springdale Free Public Library, Upper St. Clair Township Library, and Whitehall Public Library.

However you want to scratch your genealogical itch, your community library in Allegheny County is a great place to start!

Cameron R.S. Smith, Cooper-Siegel Community Library

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What’s Next?

Nothing is better than finding a good book and finding out it’s a series to keep it going. However, it is not always clear what title to start with or which title comes next.

The Kent District Library, in Kent County, Michigan, created the What’s Next: Books in Series Database to help search series. They define a series as two or more books linked by character(s), settings, or other common traits. The database is searchable by author last name, author first name, name of a series, book title, category or genre. It is the perfect resource if you need a printed list of titles.

Fantastic Fiction is also a great resource for keeping up with your favorite authors and series. When searching an author, you can see all their series in order and all their titles that are not a part of a series. A unique feature of Fantastic Fiction is series that are not tied by author, for example the various Star Wars and Star Trek series. 

Of course, there is the Novelist Plus database! Like the others, Novelist provides author’s series, but a feature that makes Novelist stand out is the Read-alikes specifically for series!

Happy reading!

Leigha Lamont @ Wilkinsburg Public Library & Eastridge Branch

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Overdrive app sunsets today…

Just a reminder that the classic Overdrive app will be disappearing from Apple and Android appstores as of February 23. This means that new users will not be able to download the classic app, and will instead be directed to use Libby. Which is great, because we all know Libby is SO much better – easier to navigate and much more user-friendly!

We have however recently learned that the Overdrive app will remain (for the moment!) in the Amazon appstore. This is good news for Kindle Fire users, since Libby is still not available on those devices. How long it will remain available from Amazon, and if Libby (as we hope!) will eventually be provided for Kindle Fire, remains to be seen, but in the meantime Kindle Fire users will still be able to download and use Overdrive.

Another piece of news is that the desktop “Overdrive Media Console” will also no longer be available for new downloads. This software was used exclusively for audiobook users who had non-smart MP3 players (iPod shuffle, for example) that don’t take apps on them, so that they could download the audiobooks to the console and then sync them to their devices. Current users of the software will still be able to use it, but new users will have to find some other way of getting their audiobooks, through a smart or streaming device.

If you’d like some tips on how to help patrons make the transition to Libby, there’s an upcoming webinar: “Getting Started with Libby” hosted by Overdrive. You can register here.

So long, Overdrive Legacy app…we knew you well. And hello to Libby by Overdrive – we’re glad you’re here to stay!

Heather Auman
Western Allegheny Community Library

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