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Aug 21

FGS Day One

I wanted to share a little with you about my first day at the Federation of Genealogical Society’s annual conference. I was so happy to be able to make the short drive to Ft. Wayne and attend this year!

I arrived at noon and spent several hours in the library before registration. A day in the Allen County Library is always a good day. I was scheduled for a consultation during the afternoon, so I grabbed by “stuff” and headed of for that. A couple of real good suggestions from a volunteer. I need to work a little harder on my mystery man, who happens to also be my great-grandfather.

I attended the FamilySearch Blogger dinner. I guess that was enough to help me realize how much I miss blogging. Great to meet several bloggers I follow, and am friends with, but had never met in person. Among them: Becky Wisemen, Polly Kimmitt, and Julie Cahill Tarr.  I even got a glimpse of The Ancestry Insider! At the FamilySearch Blogger dinner, I also got my very first Blogger Beads! Thanks to Thomas for sending them, and to the lady who handed them out.

Diane C. Loosle, the new director  spoke about some changes at the Family History Library. The concept being rolled out is about collaborative areas in the library where staff and researchers share experiences and research. The library is bringing the staff out from behind the desk and setting up areas with film readers, computers and tables where researchers and staff collaborate during research. According to Loosle, a trial area for Nordic research on B1 has been very successful.

The other concept presented in detail was the, “Family History Discovery Center”. Three to five of these Centers will open worldwide during the next twelve months. These will have the traditional research equipment, film readers, computers and so on, but also offer multimedia experience and other resources. These services appear to be outreach to younger and those less likely to have experienced traditional research.

The concept that most interested me was the “Oral History Recording Studio” concept which will be a part of the discovery centers. For an eight dollar fee, you may interview a relative or other person of interest and take away a one-hour high definition video of the interview. I wish I had one of my grandmother, or even mother!

The general focus of most of the new FamilySearch initiatives becomes evident in their expression “Not Charts, but Hearts”. Watch for a lot more on that general concept. Some researchers wonder about underemphasis of actual research techniques; it will be interesting to see if this approach draws more people into serious research.

Thank you FamilySearch for the great meal, and for spilling the beans on your direction.

 

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