TV Terror: Feb. 17, 2009?

I was part of the TV panic.  I heard the warnings that my TV would not work in 2009.  Patrons called and asked the same question.  Do we have to throw our televisions in the trash and buy a new one?  Don’t panic! The truth is that you will be able to use your analog TV in 2009 with a digital-to-analog converter box available from electronics stores and major retailers.   What is more, the U.S. Government is currently subsidizing the cost of converter boxes by issuing coupons to applicants. (All households are eligible at this time.)

To make TV transmissions more efficient and free up frequencies for services such as emergency services and new digital data services, Congress ordered the elimination of analog TV channels.  In 2009, television stations will broadcast in digital from a different part of the spectrum.  The spectrum occupied by analog TV signals will be auctioned off.

At this time, the converter boxes are necessary for the 16 million Americans who watch free TV with an antenna and are not needed for satellite and cable subscribers because those services convert the signals.

For a more thorough explanation and information on the voucher program, check out this article.

America’s Genealogy Bank – an enticing new resource

Genealogy is the Internet’s second most popular past-time.  At Seattle Public Library we love to work with Genealogists and we’re excited to present a great new electronic resource for our patrons.

America’s Genealogy Bank is the perfect complement to our other fabulous genealogy services. From one very easy to use search screen you can review millions of historical newspapers, books, pamphlets, government documents and genealogies as well as a separate file of obituaries from 1977- the present.  AGB offers full-text of many small-town newspapers such as San Jose Mercury News, 1886-1922,  Eastern Argus (one of the nations earliest newspapers – published in Maine) 1803 -1880 and Dallas Morning News, 1885-1977.  Read the ads, the social news, the business and sports pages!  Discover what was happening in their communities as your ancestors went about their daily lives.  Or search the Federal Government’s publications — Was your ancestor a mail carrier?  Did he work as a meat inspector for the FDA?  Maybe he’ll show up on the annual list of employees and their salaries published by various government agencies. My ancestor did – as a Meat Inspector in Kansas City, Missouri – he made $1,200 a year!  A pretty good salary for the times.

What can AGB help you discover about your family?

~posted by Heather M.W.