Let Down at the Library

A few weeks ago, I spent some time at the Kent State Library were a librarian advised me that they had donated all of their genealogical collection to the Kent Free Library. Ever since I heard that I have wanted to get there. Well, I was completely let down at the library. To be perfectly honest, it was not even the library’s fault.

Leeds castle library
I could only wish the shelves looked like this…

This past Saturday was Parents Day. I was super excited to get back to Kent and one of the things on my list to do was visit the Kent Free Library (after seeing my kid, of course). We had a bit of a lull after lunch and I talked my family into a quick visit.

The library is big and beautiful. I had to go the the information desk to ask about the genealogy room. Personally, I love a library with an information desk. To me, it means they have a lot going on in the library. My local Chicago Public Libraries do not have this, they are usually small and you can just ask a question at the regular check out desk. The lady at the desk did not seem to thrilled to be explaining their genealogy room, which is called the Ohio History room.

I have many ancestors that were either from Ohio, or went through Ohio, so I was excited to see what they might have. Plus, my Civil War Ancestor served in an Ohio Regiment and I was definitely interested to see what I could find.

My Findings:


Yes, you read that right. Though the genealogy room or (Ohio History room) was rather larger, with plenty of tables and chairs for one to sit and work, there was nothing that really jumped out at me. Their collection is specific to Northeast Ohio, and was mostly information on the counties. There was also some local law books, which did look interesting. You will also find the obligatory beginning genealogy how to books. I found only one book on cemeteries in the area.

What I did not find, anything on local family histories! Maybe I am wanting all genealogy collections to be more like the Allen County Library. Filled to the brim with family histories that have been donated by numerous people. My mistake was hoping to see that.

I do need to go through my family tree and see if any of my family was from Northeast Ohio and then maybe I will be able to find something. Until then, I have no reason to return.

Don’t get me wrong, the collection they have on Northeast Ohio looks pretty great, its just not what I was looking for.


When you go into the genealogy section of a library, is there anything specific you look for? I would love to hear what you look for!



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  1. I’m curious, Terri, did they have any “loose paper” files that might have held some useful info for you? Seems odd to call what you’ve described a “collection” with very little actual genealogical information (how-to books and law books don’t count). Sounds like their focus was more on the history than the genealogy. I’m disappointed right there with you.

    1. I did not see any loose paper files. It seems their focus was pretty much local history. Glad to see I am not the only one that was / would be let down.

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