FGS Conference – Tuesday – FGS Blogger Dinner

The four of the last five days I have spent doing research at the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center and last night was the FamilySearch Blogger Dinner.

Congratulations go to Diane Loosle on being appointed Director of the Family History Library. She is going to be studying the “role of the Family History Library and 4,700 satellite branches worldwide called, Family History Centers, and how to make them discovery centers for people of all ages, not just a research facility.”

“In 2013-14, Diane says she has some very specific goals as the new director of the Family History Library:

1. Become more family and youth-oriented through providing interactive, discovery experiences.
2. Enhance the services of the Library through new collaborative research areas and better access to research staff.
3. Continue to bring the Library resources and staff knowledge to online patrons.
4. Engage more patrons from the geographic community surrounding the library.”

There are going to be youth and family oriented changes happening at the Family History Library. They are creating research collaboration spaces and staff is coming out from behind the desk and into these spaces. You will find computers, microfilm readers and staff in one space who are researching common interests.

There are 1.7 million names from historical records added to the website every day. The FamilySearch camera teams number 237 right now and their goal is to have 1000 in five years.

Family History Discovery Centers are going to be created in metropolitan areas in high tourist and high traffic neighbourhoods. They will be engaging for all age groups and knowledge bases. Three to five will be launched in the next twelve months.

Three Oral History Studios are being tested right now. You can bring a family member to the studio and interview them to capture their story. There is an HD video camera and you will be given a pre-programed flash drive to save the video. You are allotted an hour and fifteen minutes and the cost is $8 which is the cost of the flash drive. They need to pre-program the flash drive so you can’t bring your own.

FamilySearch Family Tree now has 950 million names, 41,686 are added every day and 27% are non LDS contributors. You will be able to upload documents by the end of the year.

Soon you will be able to scan your family photos at your local Family History Center. They will crop and upload your photos to your FamilySearch online account or you can bring them home and tag them.

Some of the FamilySearch third party apps are: FamilyMap, RootsMagic, Mobile Family Tree for iOS, Leaf, and Legacy mobile.

Rootstech are expecting 110,000 remote attendees in 2014. The BIG NEWS is that registration begins on Thursday 22 August 2013.

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

FGS 2013 Online Registration Ends in One Week

FGS2013_Ambassador_badge

If you haven’t registered for the FGS 2013 Conference yet, you still have time to register online, by mail or at the door. Mailed registrations must be postmarked by Friday, August 9. Online registration ends on Wednesday, August 14th. Pre-registering for the conference gives you access to some great benefits.

And don’t forget, if you have already registered for the conference, you still have time to get your tickets to the conference “extras.”

Only attendees who preregister for the conference can:
• Access the conference syllabus online prior to the conference.
• Guarantee a spot in the “extra” conference events (on-site tickets may be available to events if they have not sold out):
o 10 luncheons over the 4 conference days.
o 5 workshops over 3 days. There is still room in the Researching African Americans in University Libraries workshop. We have also added   extra spaces and still have a few seats left Researching Midwestern American Indians and Using Griffith’s Valuation to Identify Your Ancestors’ Origins. The other workshops are sold out.
o FGS Opening Social on Wednesday, August 21
o Friday Night at ACPL on August 23 with all proceeds going to the Preserve the Pensions Fund!
o Sunday Farewell Brunch with lots of door prizes.
• Register for a FREE genealogy consultation on Tuesday, August 20. You must sign up for a consultation in advance. See Conference Activities on the website for details.

You can also purchase extra tickets (except for workshops) for your non-genealogy spouses or friends who traveled with you to the conference.

Visit the website to register or add “extras” today. We hope to see you in Fort Wayne, August 21-24.

Packing for the FGS Conference in Fort Wayne Indiana

This is the last prompt for the FGS Ambassadors and it is a hard one. It is about packing for the FGS conference. The hard part is you never know exactly what to bring and you always think of something you should have brought once you get there.

It also depends on whether you are driving or flying. Obviously if you are flying you can’t bring as much as if you are packing your car. Personally I like to travel light.

The first thing that anyone who has ever attended a conference will tell you to pack is a comfortable pair of shoes and a wrap or sweater because the lecture rooms can sometimes be cold. I will add to that a refillable water bottle because you will need to stay hydrated and they usually provide water stations in the hall or lecture room where you can fill up your bottle.

A lot of people bring their IPads and computers to take notes but I have a hard time balancing them on my knee and typing at the same time, not as coordinated as some people. So I bring my notebook and pencil. They also come in handy when I’m researching. I can stand in the stacks and take notes using these tools.

The syllabus material will usually be put online before we leave for the conference so I go in and print off the handouts for the lectures I’m going to attend. I print on a single page and then use the back of it for notes for that particular lecture. This way I have both of them together.

I bring my little netbook as I find it easier to type on than my IPod. Yes, I said IPod as I don’t have an IPad. Facebook, Hotmail and Old Reader can be accessed on both devices but if I need to type up notes or a blog post the keyboard on the netbook easier to use. RootsMagic To-Go is my genealogy program of choice when travelling. The memory stick can be put into the netbook and my family tree is at my fingertips.

Business cards are always a must. I keep a small pile in behind my name tag so that they are easy to pull out when I meet someone new. Exchanging business cards is a good way to share contact information. Even if you don’t have a genealogy business you should get some cards made up with your contact information.

A list of exhibitors that are of interest is also made up. Usually I print out the map of the exhibit hall ahead of time and go in and circle where they are located so that it is easier to find them.

It can be a good idea to print off some small labels with your name and email address on them. These can be useful when you are entering draws. You can just peel one off and put it on the ballot. This is also great if there is a large crowd because it can be done quickly.

My research to-do-list is something that will be included in my suitcase. I have been working on it for several months. Will I be able to get it all done? Well that depends on my allocated research time. The list has been prioritized so that the things that are most important to my research will be done first. PERSI is available on Ancestry and when an article of interest is located I cut and paste the source information into my research plan. Easy and less chance of transcription errors.

Don’t forget to include the cables and chargers for your electrical devices when you pack. You don’t want something to run out of power just when you need it most.

Good luck with your packing and see you in a month!

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

The Federation of Genealogical Societies’ 2013 Conference is quickly approaching

This is a special genealogy conference you won’t want to miss!

It’s getting closer! The 2013 FGS conference takes place in Fort Wayne, Indiana on August 21-24 with pre-conference activities on August 20th and a Farewell Brunch on August 25th. Fort Wayne is the home of the renowned Genealogy Center which is giving us generous extended research hours during the conference.

• Of course, you may still register online or by regular mail for the FGS 2013 Conference in Fort Wayne!

• Register soon so that in early August you gain access to the online conference syllabus with an expanded subject index.

• We tweaked room arrangements and have ample room for more people to sign up for the luncheons that take place each day.

• Rooms are available at the two added hotels. They will run periodic shuttles to the Grand Wayne Convention Center. Fort Wayne has thousands of hotel rooms so there is space for all of us.

• Ample parking is available near the convention center.

• Don’t forget about the wonderful quilt that will be awarded during the Friday evening festivities at the Allen County Public Library. That’s an evening to benefit the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Project with lots of fun activities. A dessert buffet will be sponsored by FamilySearch. If you have registered for that evening, you get access to the Genealogy Center from 6:00 p.m. till Midnight!

Want more details on these points and to keep up with breaking news? Follow us on:

The conference website
FGS Conference News Blog
Facebook
• Twitter: @FGSconference, #FGS2013

We hope you join us for this great educational and fun week.

Conference Scheduling – Be Flexible

As an FGS Ambassador we are provided with blogging prompts each month. Here are the responses to the questions we have been asked for June/July.

Deciding on the conference schedule depends very much on my selection of lectures which changes several times over the months prior to the conference. When the program first comes out I go through it and mark all the lectures that appeal to me. A few months later I will go through it again in a little more detail and narrow some streams down. Then a week or so before I leave I go through it for a final time and try to narrow it down to one lecture per stream.

Once I have narrowed the lectures down to hopefully one per stream, if not I hope that at least one of them is being recorded, then I decide on what exhibitors I want to visit during the conference. This can depend on what is of interest to me at the moment, new programs that have come out that I want to learn more about, new databases being released by the larger companies and sometimes it has to do with where the conference is being held and if I have any family connections to the area.

How I keep track of when and where I need to be usually starts with the small brochure that is included in our registration bag. I circle things and review the next day’s happenings the night before. In 2012 the FGS had an app that was very useful. I had it on my IPod Touch and could check at an instant where I needed to be. It made things very easy. I haven’t heard anything about this year’s app yet.

My schedule can change during the day at the conference because sometimes you are presented with an opportunity you can’t say no to or you meet up with some new friends and decide to try something different. Don’t schedule the whole conference before you go, be open to anything that may come up during conference. You never know what you might learn or who you may meet.

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved 

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