Don Litzer, Reference Librarian at Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana since June 2005, is a native of Marathon, Wisconsin.
He earned a B.A. in History and International Studies from Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin in 1980 and the M.L.S. degree from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, in 1991.
Previous to his present position, Don served as Adult Reference Librarian and later Head of Adult Services at McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin (1996-2005), as a librarian in the Government and Business Department at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Cincinnati, Ohio (1991-1996), and as a page at the Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio (1990).
Don has pursued his Pommern and Pfalz German, Kashub Polish, Swedish, German Swiss and Bohemian ancestry for over thirty years in Europe, Canada, and the United States, as well as the Polish and Irish roots of his wife, Sarah.
Don's most established presentation, "Not Just Ancestry--Learning About Genealogy and the Internet," was initially presented as part of a ‘Roots on the Web’ panel discussion featuring Cyndi Howells (of Cyndi’s List fame) and other librarians during the 1998 American Library Association’s Annual Conference. He has also presented on German research, preservation, and Internet communication, and has instructed beginning genealogy classes for the adult education service of Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Kentucky.
Don’s master’s research paper, which studied the interrelationship between libraries, especially public libraries, and genealogical societies to improve services to genealogical researchers, was the basis for the first of two articles he’s had published in the professional journal Reference and User Services Quarterly, "Genealogical Society Cooperation in Developing Local Genealogical Services and Collections," Fall 1997 (Volume 37, Number 1). Don's second RUSQ article, "Local History in E-books and On the Web: One Library's Experience as Example and Model," Spring 2004 (Volume 43, Number 3) co-authored with Andy Barnett, investigated an exemplary case study of a small library using grass-roots technology to provide access to rare materials of historical interest to the community it serves.
In 2001, Don accepted, on behalf of McMillan Memorial Library, the Highsmith Award from the Wisconsin Library Association for innovative and exemplary library programming, in recognition of his efforts as the impresario of the McMillan Coffeehouse, a literary and fine arts series principally featuring local writers and performers and their work.