I am usually at our local town library at least once a week for children's programs, but, honestly, I rarely have the chance to browse the shelves for myself. My daughter and I walked past the magazine stands the other day and there I saw Family Tree Magazine. A light bulb went off in my head - why didn't I ever think to look here in the magazine section for titles that may help me with my genealogy research?
I also noticed that there were several general history titles among the racks: WWII History, Civil War Times Illustrated, and American History. And, as I look through the online catalog, I see that even our smaller town library holds several local and state-specific periodicals that could be very useful to Indiana family historians: Indiana Magazine of History, Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, and Hoosier Genealogist. (Unfortunately, nearly all of my U.S. genealogy research consists of Ohio ancestors, so these titles probably wouldn't be that useful to me personally.)
So, it's all right to rush to the probate record books, microfilms, and online databases when you are doing genealogy research at the big city or state libraries, but don't forget that some great resources might just be found in your local library's periodical department. And of course, the best part is they are FREE!