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Genealogy News: Burke's Funeral Home Records

BurkesDeath certificates and burial records are just two of the many vital records we use while compiling our family histories. Sometime it can be a difficult process to locate them and then obtain a copy from the right source at a reasonable fee. The information contained in mortuary death records is often unobtainable anywhere else. 

A while back, the Hayner Genealogy & Local History Library was given numerous boxes of death and burial records (including copies of death certificates) for hundreds of people who had been buried by Burke’s Funeral Home in Alton, Illinois, between the years of 1956 and 1995. Unfortunately, we did not receive any records for 1961–1968. 

After many hours of hard work by staff and volunteers, these records have been organized and are ready for public use. A complete name index has been created and is now a part of our Illinois Room collection. This index can be used to quickly identify whether we have a file on a specific name. The book is titled Index of Burke’s Funeral Home Records, and the call number is IR 977.3865 IND.

If you find an ancestor’s name listed on the index, a staff member will retrieve the file for that name and copy any of the materials you need for your genealogy research. (Copy fees apply.) These donations of Burke’s Funeral Home records are only available at the Hayner Genealogy & Local History Library at the 401 State Street location.

Problems with iOS App for Overdrive

iOS problemsOverDrive released v3.5.0 for iOS on Monday, February 1, 2016. Among other things, this updated version of the app resolved long-standing issues related to saving audiobook position and syncing. Unfortunately, it also introduced a new bug that prevented some users from opening or using the app after updating. On Friday, February 5, 2016, Overdrive released v3.5.1, which resolved the initial errors and allowed most users to open the app. However, Overdrive is now finding that some app users are encountering new problems.

Click here to view Overdrive's informational guide containing troubleshooting tips for the iOS app update. Please note that not all user issues are addressed; Overdrive is working to create a solution to all user problems. 

Add Your Library Card to Your Smartphone

Mobile Phone UpdatedYou can now add your library card to a smartphone app for added convenience when visiting the library. Simply add your card to the app of your choice and never forget your library card again! Not sure which app to use? For your convenience, The Hayner Public Library District is listed as a registered “store” with Key Ring (a store rewards card company). Click here to view instructions for adding your library card to the Key Ring app. 

Please note: Photos of library cards are not valid. Our 2D barcode scanners are not capable of reading photo images of barcodes; they are programmed to read digitized barcodes. Therefore, your library card must be added to an app in order for it to be used digitally at our Circulation Desks.

Key Ring app instructions

Text Message and E-mail Notifications for Holds and Overdues

Text Message for Holds and OverduesThe Hayner Public Library District is now offering text message and e-mail notifications for your requests and overdue notices.

Please ask at the Circulation Desk if you would like to receive a text message or e-mail message when your requested items are ready for pickup. The staff will be happy to assist you in making this change to your library account.

PLEASE NOTE: Text message and e-mail notifications are automated. These messages are NOT sent out in “real time.” The Illinois Heartland Library System software generates text messages and e-mails at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. daily. You will receive a separate text message for each item that is ready to be picked up or is overdue. If you sign up for text message or e-mail notifications, you will receive BOTH overdue notices AND pickup notifications this way. You will no longer receive a phone call from a staff member regarding your items ready to be picked up or overdue materials.

Note: E-mails and texts will be sent from SHARE Notifications and NOT from Hayner Library. SHARE is the automated network of libraries within the Illinois Heartland Library System.

As always, you can view your library account online at

Searching the Card Catalog and Managing Your Library Account Online

Card Catalog DrawersLong gone are the days when you used a paper card catalog to locate an item in the library. Everything is now digital! Click on the link below to view step-by-step instructions for managing your library account online as well as navigating the online card catalog. If you have any questions about using the card catalog or your managing your online account, please contact Mary Cordes, Assistant Director for Circulation Services, at

Click here to view the Card Catalog and Online Account Instructions  (Note: This is a large document. Please be patient as it may take a moment to load/view).

Card Catalog Class Location Change

Please note: The location of the Wednesday, October 14, 10 a.m. class has changed. The class will now be held in the Genealogy & Local History Library, located at 401 State Street, Alton.

SHARE IconDid you know you can search our website for the over 10,000,000 items available for requesting and checkingout? Did you know that your library card account information is available for viewing online—and all of thisfrom the comfort of home? If not, we can show you how.

When accessing our website, you can: renew any items you have checked out, request items from any libraryin the system, see when your items are due, and see if an item is on hold for you, as well as many otheroptions. To help library patrons get started, The Hayner Public Library District’s own Mary Cordes, AssistantDirector of Circulation and Strategic Planning, will give a “how-to” presentation on accessing your accountand the online catalog, teaching you the way to do all the things listed above and more. Even if you know some or all of these things, feel free to attend, because you never know what new information you might learn.

There will be two classes with the same presentation: Wednesday, October 14, at 10 a.m. and Thursday, October 15, at 6:30 p.m., both in the Multipurpose Room at the Alton Square location. Please call 1-800-613-3163 to reserve your spot, since seating is very limited.

Please note: The location of the Wednesday, October 14, 10 a.m. class has changed. The class will now be held in the Genealogy & Local History Library, located at 401 State Street, Alton. 

Community Partnership

Chatroom Barbershop MoreThe Hayner Public Library District recently partnered with the Chatroom Barbershop & More (611 East Broadway, Alton) by providing free books and library bags for their back-to-school free haircut program. In exchange for their free haircut, book, and bag, children were asked to read to owners Charles Chapman or Tiffany Carson. Children were lined up waiting to read their books for a new ’do! The program will continue next year, so check dates and times by calling 618-433-1412.

Hayner Library Audio Tour Launched

The Genealogy Local History LibraryAfter several years of planning, recording, and editing, we are happy to announce that the Hayner Library Audio Tour is now available at the Genealogy & Local History Library.

The tour includes sections on Hayner Library history, the Hayner family, the original building, our most important works of art, and stories related to the local history displays. You may recognize some familiar voices – WBGZ Radio’s Mark Ellebracht, Professor Brad Noble from SIUE, and Robert Morrissey, art appraiser and proprietor of Robert Morrissey Antiques and Fine Art in St. Louis, lent their vocal talents to us for the tour, as did several Hayner staff members.

We have ten handsets loaded with the audio tour and historic photographs. The handsets are easy to use, with adjustable volume and a printed instruction sheet. The entire tour lasts about an hour but is divided into 18 segments, so you may listen to one or all sections depending on your interests. For patrons who want to learn more about any of the topics on the tour, a bibliography of related materials in our collection is available on our spinning wooden rack. This tour is meant to be a supplement to tours we already provide; Genealogy & Local History Library staff members are still very happy to lead personalized tours for groups interested in our library and history.

Sidewalk Solar Party at Hayner Library Downtown

The SunRemember when you were told not to look directly into the sun? Well, now you can!

With the generous help and time of Eddie Agha, Staff Astronomer at The Nature Institute, The Hayner Public Library District is hosting a Sidewalk Solar Party on October 12, 2015, at the downtown location. Starting at 10:00 a.m., participants will be able to view the sun through a special solar telescope made to view the sun safely. If the weather cooperates, everyone should be able to view the sun and its many wonders, including solar prominences and dark spots. Let Eddie guide you through the special aspects of our great yellow dwarf star, the sun.

As a bonus, an attendance giveaway of solar glasses, one per family, will be handed out. Bring the whole family to see the sun as you have never seen it before! Registration is required at 1-800-613-3163, since space is limited.


CluesThe Hayner Public Library District is excited to announce a new mystery book club– "Whodunit?"!

The mystery book club is led by Downtown Library Customer Service Manager, Penny Noble, who has been an avid reader of mysteries for many years and wants to share that murderous passion with the library's patrons. 

This book club will be held in the Multipurpose Room of the Hayner Alton Square Library. 

Discussions are going to be interesting and lively as participants discuss the good and bad plot-points, writing style of the author, characters who were liked and disliked, and anything else everyone can come up with.

Even if mysteries have never been your favorite genre, this book club is sure to entertain. Be sure to check the library website's Events Calendar for the dates and times of this book club. Limit for the book club is set to the first 15 people who respond, so don't miss out on this opportunity. Call 618-462-0677, ext. 2848, to reserve your spot now!

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