by Delia

We all call It by a different name: jump drive; flash drive; stick drive; USB drive. It is a flash data storage device which is integrated with a Universal Serial Bus (USB). Not being all that techie myself, I would just describe it as one of those things that are about the size of my little finger (or smaller) that plugs into a computer to which I can download files with ancestral information and all types of images: photos of great-grandparents, census images from Ancestry, or a baptismal record image from FamilySearch. I photocopy less and less these days, instead putting the image on my flash drive (what I call it). The major benefit to downloading images is that I have an image that I can thoroughly examine. I can enlarge at will to examine that stray mark on the document and determine if it is a vital clue to my family history or just a smudge. I also generate less paper to juggle and file, and have my documents readily available at any computer.

Flash drives come in various storage capacities, four gigabytes and up, and the price corresponds to the capacity. The Allen County Public Library's Circulation Department sells small flashdrives at the Check-out Desk as a service to those who need one, but they have a comparatively small capacity, so I would encourage all of our visitors to purchase a flash drive before visiting The Genealogy Center. You may use them in any of our computers, as long as they do not have any program (.exe) files on them.

So remember to pack your jump/flash/stick/USB drive the next time you visit!