“I like helping people put pieces of the puzzle together.”
That’s exactly what OPL volunteer Karen Tippets has been doing at W. Dale Clark Main Library for about 15 years. Tippets volunteers in the library’s genealogy department, indexing names and teaching others how to research family history. Her goal is to make more records available to people who have had family in the Omaha area.
The work is important, she feels, because it connects people with the past, and in some instances, can help pave the way for a healthier future. She recalled at least a few occasions where people noticed family patterns in the cause of death during their research, and as a result, were able to make decisions regarding their own healthcare because of their knowledge of the past.
Tippets has always been fascinated by genealogy. She remembers asking her grandmother questions about their family history as a child and never really getting the answers she wanted. When she learned how to find genealogical information at age 18, she was hooked, and has been doing it ever since. Now she enjoys showing people where to look for information and what to look for, as well as subtle differences between genealogy resources that make significant differences in family research.
Most days, Tippets can be found in the microfilm room at Main Library. She also teaches classes with the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society on the weekends. If you are interested in learning more about how to research your family history, contact the genealogy department at 402.444.4840.