I just returned from the 2011 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference in Columbus, Ohio. I presented three sessions, saw many friends and colleagues, learned some from other attendees, and most of all, came away with a smile.
When I present genealogy lectures I also receive education. As soon as I work on a handout and lecture I know I need to be stating facts. It’s not a casual conversation where you can say I think that those birth records begin in 1905 or it seems those probate court records are all still at the courthouse. What if it is actually 1908 for the birth records or that some of the older probate files have been transferred to the state archives. That means double checking the content. Website URLs must be current. The most recent edition of a book needs to be cited unless an earlier edition has something the newer one is missing. That’s why some items in a bibliography need to be annotated.When presenting the lecture my PowerPoint slides must be correct.
The education doesn’t stop there. One of the great benefits of attending a conference or seminar is the way our minds work off each other’s. I usually come away learning about a new book or a cool website from someone in the audience. No one knows it all. Then I sit at lunch or other meal with a couple of colleagues and our conversation becomes one of sharing knowledge and resources. There is something neat about the face to face time. If I am writing about a resource during an IM chat or on Facebook, I may not feel like typing out a full description of an item or giving more than one reference book or website. That’s so much easier to do when we are in the same place.
That said, I will see many of you during the rest of this year in Austin, Charleston, Winona, Springfield, and several other places. Check out my schedule in the right hand column. Come prepared to share, that makes it more fun (and of course, educational) for all of us. Plus, the vendor areas are great for browsing and purchasing. I am one of those people who really like to see a book or ask a question of a software developer before I spend money on it.
© 2011 – 2014, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.