21 August 2013

FGS 2013 Is in Full Swing

I started Wednesday at one of the best places on earth for a genealogist, the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.  I stepped out of the car as the nine o'clock church bells were ringing.  I had my research plans in order and was ready to go.  My main focus for the morning was to figure out how to use Amish and Amish Mennonite Genealogies by Hugh Gingerich.  I have many family names in that book.  I read the how to use this book and started checking the family names.  The nice thing about this book is that the author provides many sources for his documentation.  I will still need to verify the information with primary sources, but what a list of primary sources I have now.  I was so engrossed in my research that I didn't make it to the first afternoon conference session I had planned on attending.

Lots of people wanting to research their family history, it was great to see.

 Tables were full!

 Computer Kiosks were full!
 The Genealogy Center set up extra tables between the two rooms for researchers.

The Genealogy Center was prepared for the influx of people this week.  The staff and volunteers were incredible.  People were shelving books as fast as they were being returned to the carts.  Others were helping with computers, copy cards and machines, general, and research, questions.  They all were ready and willing to help, it was absolutely fantastic.  Thank you. 

I was able to make it to two conference sessions, after a quick lunch.  Both sessions had to do with volunteer recruitment.

Reaching Out Online:  How to Grow Your Society Through Social Media by Devin Ashby and Courtney Connolly was an overview of the various social media forms and how one can use them to help their society grow.  The presenters stressed the importance of understanding your purpose for doing social media.  "Don't do it because everyone else is".  Asking yourself why you want to do it and what is your goal will help clarify a social media strategy that works.  Examples of great social media content was shared as well as content ideas for societies. 

The Shape of the 21st Century Genealogical Society by George G. Morgan was a look at how societies need to "adopt new strategies and adapt to today's trends."  New technologies, programs and methods are needed to keep existing members and attract new ones.  The session ended with examples of best practices and methods for effecting change.


Next, my husband and I attended the Opening Social which was held at the Foellinger-Freisman Botanical Conservatory.  The question of the day for Kirk was "If he was into genealogy?"  His answer was anything from "I am here to carry the books" to "A little, but not like my wife is"  The Conservatory is absolutely gorgeous.  Entertainment, light refreshments, cash bar, door prizes and socializing provided a great end to the day and a great kick off to the next three days of conferencing.

 One of many beautiful gardens.
 Checking out the waterfall.
Kirk having a little fun!

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