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FAQ about Explore Tier 4

Q. What is "Explore Tier 4?"

"Explore Tier 4" provides an opportunity to browse more than 13,000 family histories and other materials shelved in an area not normally open to the public.Tier 4 is open on the second Saturday and Sunday of each month during normal library hours.

Q. Where is Tier 4?

Tier 4 is located at St. Louis County Library Headquarters (the main library entrance is on Tier 3). History & Genealogy is located on Tier 5--the library's top floor--but much of the collection is located in a staff-only area on Tier 4.

Q. Why are some History & Genealogy materials shelved in a staff-only area?

The library currently does not have enough room to shelve all History & Genealogy materials in the public area on Tier 5.

Q. Are materials shelved on Tier 4 only available during "Explore Tier 4" weekends?

Materials on Tier 4 are always available and may be used at other times by request. Please ask a librarian for assistance.

Q. Are items on Tier 4 listed in the library's catalog?

History & Genealogy books are listed in the library's online catalog. Items shelved on Tier 4 included the word "Closed" in their location descriptions.

Q. What is shelved on Tier 4?

  • Family histories
  • Family association and surname newsletters
  • School yearbooks
  • Books pertaining to states west of the Mississippi, except Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana
  • Books pertaining to Upper-Midwestern states, including Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan
  • Books pertaining to Washington, D.C.
  • Yizkor books and other Jewish genealogical sources
  • Printed census indexes
  • Oversized books
  • Duplicate copies of books shelved on Tier 5
  • Newspaper microfilms are shelved in the public area on Tier 4.

Q. Are genealogical and historical journals and quarterlies shelved on Tier 4?

Family association and surname newsletters are shelved on Tier 4. Other genealogical and historical periodicals are shelved in an area only accessible to library staff and may be used upon request. Please ask a librarian for assistance.

Q. Can I check out books shelved on Tier 4?

Books with a blue dot on the spine may be checked out with a valid St. Louis County Library card. A limit of two books per patron applies.

Q. Is staff available on Tier 4 to assist me on "Explore Tier 4" weekends?

A librarian is stationed on Tier 4 to help you locate materials and provide other information.

Q. Where do I use Tier 4 materials after I take them from the shelves?

Work space is available on Tier 4, or materials may be brought to tables on Tier 5.

Q. How do I contact the library for more information?

Call 314-994-3300, ext. 2040 or send an email to