The purpose of writing the story of how I found my family in Poland for you is to show that successful family history involves much more than looking at book, articles and microfilm. I did spend very many hours in libraries doing that. But if it were that easy, it wouldn’t give that much enjoyment or (or take so long).
It involved learning much about the history, names, language (a bit) and geography of Poland (and Prussia). It required a good computer program to keep track of many of the names, dates and facts that get uncovered during the course of research. I use The Master Genealogist that allows me to record more than one date, name or place for an event, and give them reliability ratings.
I learned about resources and research techniques by joining many computer forums and mailing lists and seeing what other people were doing. I participated in them by providing information on what I was seeking and by helping others when I had information from which they might benefit. Some people became good friends (even though we never met in person) and were important providers of help to me.