|The great microfilm collection at UC Riverside. (c) 2016 Gena Philibert-Ortega|
Yes? Great! They are a fabulous resources for researchers.
For those who said no, why haven't you used an academic library?
Academic libraries have so much to offer family historians. Sure, there's books. Lots of books on all kinds of topics including local history. Most academic libraries also have special collections that may include manuscript collections dealing with local history. So a trip to the local university library where your ancestor lived can be important.
But even a trip to your local academic library should be on your to-do list. Academic libraries have great database subscriptions that include everything from digitized newspapers and periodicals to maps and other original source materials. Often times a trip to your local university library is well worth your time.
Before you go, think about what you want to know. Write those questions down. You can typically ask questions before your trip through their Ask A Librarian feature. So before the trip or when you get to the library ask questions like "I'm researching a woman who lived in this area in the 1850s, what materials might you have that can help me?" Or "I want to know more about women who were members of the WCTU, what keywords should I use in the catalog?"
Make it a goal to check out a university library. Start with their website and then take a field trip and see what they have that can assist your research.