Plano Star-courier > News
Genealogy department prepares for new Haggard home
By Adam Rosenfield, Staff Writer
The Genealogy Department in Plano is moving locations — tripling the space for local historical records — but restrictions at the new location has some genealogy club members upset.
At Monday's Plano City Council meeting, the council approved a bid of $463,271 from Concord Commercial Services, Inc. to start moving the Genealogy Department from its present location at Harrington Library to a new Location at Haggard Library by Oct. 1.
“I don't understand why it’s over there,” said Genealogy Friends of Plano Libraries President Brenda Kellow. “It just seems like they (the city) want to do away with the department.”
Haggard officials said added benefits outweigh restricted hours and different policies.
“By putting the department at Haggard, the available space for genealogy increases three fold, and the shelve space doubles, as well as the budget,” said Karen Risser, assistant library director at Haggard Library.
The Genealogy Friends of Plano was founded by Plano citizens in 1997, as its charter members wanted to find a way to update old Plano and Collin County genealogy records. At the time, the records consisted of two shelves of books.
The group has grown and can now buy all of the Collin County records from the Collin County Courthouse.
National speakers came once a year to talk with the club at Harrington, Kellow said. Haggard Library has said the club cannot charge for such events, which was how the group financed the speakers.
Members of the group and Haggard library management met June 14 to discuss changes in the libraries policies.
The club will also not be able to have its monthly lock-ins at Haggard due to the facility’s hours. Members said they will still be allowed to host the event at Harrington once it moves locations though.
“These new hours that Haggard has are like children's hours,” said Roberta Hendricks, a member of the GFPL. “They leave no time for research.”
The research hours were cut from 64 to 40 hours due to limited staffing, and research on the collection's more than 5,000 volumes and 8,000 rolls of microfilm is only allowed to be done on Saturdays.
The genealogy department is excited, however, by the prospect of working with the new Genealogy Supervisor David Harding.
“He has been hard at work for some time expanding the collection and preparing for the forthcoming move,” said Kellow. “It's exciting because we've never had a genealogy supervisor before.”
Along with the upcoming move, the group is also celebrating its 10th anniversary in Plano. A celebration is planned for 10:30 a.m. July 21 at Harrington Library.
“We hope to see everyone, members and non-members, there at our celebration,” said Kellow. “It’s a testament to all the work we've put in to the group.”
Despite her frustrations associated with the move, Kellow is happy to have a space large enough to accommodate the growing genealogy collection.
“We're going to have a location of our own, with the ability to expand,” Kellow said.