Genesee's BEST Center Offers New Non-Credit Community Classes

The BEST Center at Genesee Community College is proud to announce two new non-credit community classes have joined the impressive list of professional skill building and community workshops available

The BEST Center at Genesee Community College is proud to announce two new non-credit community classes have joined the impressive list of professional skill building and community workshops available at the Center. The new Library Assistant/Technician Certificate Program and Exploring Your Family History workshop will begin this September at Genesee’s Batavia Campus.

The first course, Library Assistant/Technician Certificate Program is a non-credit professional course sponsored by the New York Library Association (NYLA). It is open to individuals already working or newly hired in libraries, or people interested in working in a library setting. The course is offered Monday through Thursday, September 21-24, from 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm and on Saturday, September 26, from 9:00 am- 4:00 pm. To receive a certificate, participants must complete the entire 18 hour program which includes a survey of libraries from their beginnings in pre-history to the dynamic institutions they are today. Special attention is given to the various aspects of library work and the distinctive role of the library assistant/technician in today’s libraries, as well as the current employment situation. The cost for this course is $250 and financial assistance may be available to those who qualify.

Additional major topics include Public/Circulation Services, Reference and Technical Services. Public/Circulation Services will introduce circulation systems, reserves, special collections, shelving, stack maintenance, customer service, public relations, confidentiality and security. The Reference topic will tackle organization of information, the reference question and search strategies, electronic reference products, trends, library/bibliographic instruction, information literacy, and the role of a library technician. Lastly, the Technical Services topic will provide an overview of technical processing services used in libraries to ensure growth, development and bibliographic control of all collections and materials. In addition, individuals will learn the procedures required to acquire, catalog, process and preserve materials in all formats and impact of computers on technical services in libraries.

The second course, Exploring Your Family History is a non-credit genealogy workshop for those interested in learning about their ancestors. Not that long ago, genealogy was considered strange and slightly morbid, because it often required trips to cemeteries and delving into the sometimes shady past. In recent years, however, genealogy has gone mainstream and new technology is available to facilitate both the search and the storage of genealogical information. There is new appreciation for the stories that connect people to their ancestors. Participants in the workshop will learn how to trace their own genealogy and help others trace theirs. Individuals will go beyond names, dates, and places to gather the stories of their ancestors and pass them on to future generations. Topics will also include the proper storage and organization of the materials and artifacts used to develop a family history. This workshop cost is $74 and is offered in eight sessions on Wednesdays, from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, starting September 30 and running through November 18.

Exploring Your Family History is taught by Connie Constantine, who has been exploring the history of her family and helping others do the same since she was 16 years old. After helping friends and acquaintances with their genealogy for decades, she developed a curriculum for a course in Family History at the Larkin Center in Buffalo. She has written a book of family recipes and stories and is currently working on a book based on her mother’s diaries. She practices and teaches pre-industrial arts including spinning, cheese and soap making, hearth cooking, butter making and other skills that past generations depended upon.

“These community classes and workshops are designed to serve all people in our region,” Ray Chaya, director of The BEST Center said. “Community really is our middle name here at Genesee. Whether it is a professional skill building seminar that may help someone enter a new career, or a community workshop on genealogy – these courses illustrate that there really is something for everyone at Genesee Community College.”

For more program information, course descriptions, or to register online, please visit For enrollment information, contact The BEST Center at 585-345-6868.