Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Caring for the Family Tree: Helping Patrons Select Genealogy Software

Presentation by: Rob Lesher, PA Library Association PA Forward Manager and Beth Transue, Messiah University Information Literacy Librarian

Presented at the PA Library Association annual conference, October 2023, Kalahari Resort, Poconos, PA


  • Help patrons determine genealogy research goals and budget parameters
  • Explore genealogy software options
  • Assist patrons to select genealogy software options based on research goals and budget parameters

This Civic & Social Literacy focused presentation will help librarians work with patrons to select genealogy software. As the hobby of genealogy grows in popularity, there is a multitude of genealogy software options available to family history researchers; this can often lead to the patron feeling overwhelmed or making poor software choices. While there are similarities among software there are also key differences to consider. It is important for amateur genealogists to consider their research goals and budgets to successfully match their needs with software capabilities. This session will provide an overview of genealogy research products and software, focusing on features for the family historian. The session will provide knowledge and skills for the reference librarian to successfully assist patrons to select the right software for their individual needs and budgets.