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Last chance to speak out

You may have read, earlier this week, that the Arizona State Library’s genealogy collection is under major and imminent threat of being lost.

AZ.flagThe Legal Genealogist reported on Monday that: “Unless something changes — and fast — the Arizona State Library Genealogy Collection — a vast collection of more than 20,000 volumes, many of them irreplaceable — is about to be lost to public access.”1

The genealogical community was asked to step in and speak out on behalf of this collection, by emailing Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan (www.azsos.gov/contact), Arizona State Librarian Joan Clark (www.azlibrary.gov/contact), Digital Content Director Laura Stone (), and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (Contact Governor Ducey), to let them know how important the collection is nationally as well as to the people of Arizona.

If you did, you may have gotten a response assuring you that nothing really was going to be lost, that the collection was just being moved, and that genealogical access would continue in a new location — business as usual.

And if you believed that, I have a bridge to sell you.

Please go to this link — an article in the Arizona Republic by staff writer Mary Jo Pitzi. Read what’s really going to happen to this collection:

a small portion of the 20,000-item collection will open to the public at the Genealogy Center at the Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building. … The new center will have fewer tangible materials than the current collection. Most of the new Genealogy Center will consist of online databases available for free to the public at three computer terminals. The library staff is moving the most-used reference books, such as a collection of volumes on Mayflower families and materials covering territorial days. But the bulk of the items now readily available in the 77-year-old library will be either placed in archival storage, offered to outside groups or otherwise disposed of2

Read that last sentence again, and tell me this is a good thing for Arizona.

The move is scheduled for tomorrow.

Tomorrow.

July 31st.

If you care, if you want to be heard, today is the day to act.

This is literally a “speak now or forever hold your peace” moment for this collection.

Again, you can email Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan (www.azsos.gov/contact), Arizona State Librarian Joan Clark (www.azlibrary.gov/contact), Digital Content Director Laura Stone (), and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (Contact Governor Ducey), to let them know how important the collection is nationally as well as to the people of Arizona.

But do it today.

Today.


SOURCES

  1. Judy G. Russell, “Raising Arizona,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 27 July 2015 (http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 30 July 2015).
  2. Mary Jo Pitzi, “Researchers lament Arizona genealogy library’s sudden downsizing, relocation,” The Arizona Republic, posted 29 July 2015 (http://www.azcentral.com/ : accessed 30 July 2015).
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