Guest Author - Christine Dux
Using the internet has become so easy and convenient, we sometimes forget about the resources that are available at our local library. If you haven’t visited your library recently, I would encourage you to take a trip to see what is available.
Many libraries allow you to search for books on their website from home. The first step in online research is to find out if your library has a website by typing in the name and city of your local library in your favorite search engine.
The next step is to see if you are able to search their catalog of books online. Online Searches can usually be done by the Title of a specific book, the Author of a specific book (usually by last name, first name), and by Subject.
For “Subject” searches, it works best to do a general search by typing in: rugs or rugmaking. If you are looking for information on a specific type of rug and type in something more specific, such as: rag rugs, hooked rugs, woven rugs or braided rugs you may not get any results even if there are books available. The subject in their file system is most likely “rugs” and hooked, woven, rag and braided would be listed under that subject.
When searching for books, pay attention to the date the book was printed. I found one book that was printed in 1946. If you are looking for current colors and patterns, a book printed in 1946 may not be what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in traditional methods and the history of rugmaking, a book printed in 1946 may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Libraries are often tied together in networks. It’s possible that your local library may not have the book you are looking for, but another library in their network will have it. If your local library allows searches online, you can often search the catalogs of other libraries in the network and if you have a library card, you can enter your account number and have a book from another city delivered to your local library to check out.
If your library doesn’t have a website or online searches available, try taking a trip to the library and see if they have a computer available on site to search for the information you are looking for.
I recently did a search of my local library online and found 18 books on rugmaking available. Another search of books available in the library network came up with 480 different books available relating to rugmaking! Checking out books from the library is a good way to preview books that you are interested in purchasing. It’s also a great way to find patterns, instructions and inspiration.