Friday, March 18, 2011


How many items are housed at our new Compton Genealogy & Local History Branch Library?

1. 28,000 books from the old History & Genealogy & St. Louis Area Studies Departments
2. 85,000 books from the 900s (Dewey Decimal System) section of the old Central Stacks

Add to the above numbers approximately 1 million books, pamphlets, brochures, periodicals, and miscellaneous items from the Government Information Department, and the total rises to slightly more than 1.1 million items. That number, however, doesn’t include individual microfilm boxes, vertical files, cards in the two card catalogs, or St. Louis related maps.

Compton Branch has two reference computers, one catalog, three microfilm readers, and two microfilm reader/printers. Two staff members are always available to help our customers. Compton Branch does have a circulation terminal, but it is kept in the workroom and is used primarily for internal activities. Compton is primarily a reference branch—most items there cannot be checked out, and you cannot request that items from other branches be sent to Compton for pick up.

Two shelvers assigned to Compton will be kept busy pulling items for patrons to use, as all the materials noted above are in what is known as "closed stacks." If you have ever observed genealogists doing research, you know that the shelvers will definitely have their hands full. Genealogists can go through amazing quantities of books and rolls of microfilm in astonishingly short periods of time.

Hours at Compton are Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, and the first Saturday of every month, also 9am-5pm. We encourage you to call for an appointment, because you cannot be guaranteed access to a public use computer, microfilm machine, or even a chair to use otherwise.

Compton Branch Library
1624 Locust Street
St. Louis, MO 63013

NOTE: Thanks to all our patrons who were there on opening day (Monday, March 14), and ribbon-cutting day (Tuesday, March 15). Your show of support was much appreciated (especially those of you who braved the sleet and snow on Monday!).

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