The new My GPC Library is a “valuable genealogy research tool” says genealogy author & educator Thomas MacEntee
I’m not always a big fan of having to use and learn a new platform for online reading or research. I feel there are too many choices, too many platforms that use a different search methodology and syntax, etc. And – to be honest – there are some platforms that just “stink” and I wish would go away.
Based on my experience in the genealogy industry I know how genealogists not only work, but what products and services they like to purchase, I’m always looking for a product that is easy-to-use and can be easily embraced by genealogists and family historians of all skill levels.
While platforms like Amazon Kindle are the “big muscle” in the industry, as an author myself, I also understand the costs involved in converting a print book to the Kindle format and having to jump through the hurdles of the Amazon process. Only for Amazon to then take their “cut” being anywhere from 30-70% of the sales price.
So, imagine my surprise when I was asked to review My GPC Library – the new e-book subscription product from Genealogical Publishing Company (GPC). I had used the earlier version of GPC’s e-book platform and it was clumsy, difficult to use, and didn’t really improve my research abilities in any way. However, the new iteration using the popular VitalSource platform (used by over 8,000 institutions around the world) is a big hit with me … actually a HOME RUN. With three different subscription plans, and easy-to-use, easy-to-understand features, My GPC Library absolutely ROCKS and I know I will be using it for my professional and personal genealogy research.
With a library of over 800 titles and subjects covering almost every aspect of genealogy and family history, most genealogists will have the resources they need for success when it comes to finding ancestors or learning more about the lives of their ancestors. My GPC Library is strong as a reference library especially for Colonial family research and Royal & Noble family research. And many of the titles are EXCLUSIVE to GPC.
Here’s a brief overview of my experience with the entire process for My GPC Library, from setting up an account, purchasing a plan, and to actually using the content:
- EASE OF USE: The process of getting started with VitalSource and the GPC product is straightforward. Email verification is required when setting up an account, which is standard for most online products.
- SEARCHING: Global searching for title text and text within e-books. See books in which a surname or place name appears. In addition, ability to use Boolean searching, i.e., an exact term with quotation marks: “marriage banns.”
- BOOKMARKS: Ability to highlight text and copy/paste into documents or research log. Ability to bookmark locations.
- PREFERENCES: Ability to change font size, background / foreground colors, etc. These features remain in your copy of the downloaded book. For someone with severe vision problems like me (near-sighted in one eye, far-sighted in the other, macular degeneration, and the need for prisms in my glasses), this is such a bonus and the reason I no longer buy print books.
- CITATIONS: Ability to extract citation for book in ALA, MLA, and other formats. Utilizes the Note feature to paste the citation and add locator information. Note: due to the ability of a user to customize the “look” in terms of font size, line width, etc., adding a page number as a locator to a citation note is not of much use.
- SETTINGS: Notes remain with account even if subscriber does not renew subscription and later re-subscribes.
I do have to add that My GPC Library is not perfect, but rarely is any online platform perfect. I do wish there were an easier way to see other titles by an author such as clicking on the author’s name rather than having to search the entire library by author name. I wish there were a “discount” provided if I decided to actually purchase the print version of the book from Genealogical Publishing Company. In my conversations with GPC, these are features that will be considered in the future.
From a technical standpoint, My GPC Library meets all of my standards in terms of ease-of-use, logical syntax on menus, low learning curve, and ease of installation. There is a desktop and mobile app version of My GPC Library for Windows, Android and iOS devices.
Conclusion: My GPC Library is a Valuable Genealogy Research Tool
So, kids this is a SOLID recommendation from me when it comes to My GPC Library. I would definitely add it to my Genealogy Research Toolbox as a resource and it will be so helpful when I am on a genealogy research trip, and I don’t have access to my genealogy library at home. I encourage you to try it out for a time and see if it doesn’t help you successfully find those elusive ancestors!
Introductory Discount: Save 15% on My GPC Library!
Right now, as a special offer to introduce My GPC Library to the genealogical community, you can save 15% on the Annual and Semi-Annual subscriptions at Genealogical Publishing Company!
©2023, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved