It’s a January ritual for me and this year about 350 other people. This includes people from all over the U.S., Canada, and some other countries. The week-long Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) begins on Monday, January 11th with a special reception and registration the night before. That’s when students pick up their syllabus for each course.
Some arrive before SLIG in order to research at the Family History Library (FHL) where it’s a joy to simply pull films out of a drawer rather than waiting for them to arrive in your home area. Yes, some students live in the greater Salt Lake City area, but often the duties of daily life interfere with getting downtown to do the research. Others stay after SLIG and many scurry over to the FHL after classes each day.
As many of you know, I coordinate and teach the intermediate level U.S. Records and Research course that is a great step to take before some of the advanced courses. In this course, visits to the library are a must as students work on the week’s class project which is the main homework. The students in this course also have an opportunity to sign up for a private consultation with me or the other two instructors, Debbie Mieszala, CG, and Josh Taylor, MA, MLIS.
In addition to preparing for SLIG, I am reviewing client files to see what must be accomplished at the FHL and also some of my own files for a bit of family research. I have a few new leads on my own family. This means I am listing films that I want to view while I am there and can easily move from a filmed index to a filmed record or move to another film when I make a great discovery. Bring along a couple flash drives so that you can make digitized images from the films and transfer to your own flash drive. The flash drive is also important if you find something online while using one of the many library computers and subscription databases.
Don’t forget to pack a power strip/surge protector! We all have many things to plug into one.
I bring along some granola bars and apples for quick breakfasts and daytime snacks. A Harmon’s grocery store is about 3.5-4 blocks from the Hilton Hotel where SLIG is held. Another option is to take the Trax light rail down to 400 South at 600 east to Smiths. Smiths has much more than groceries including clothes, jewelry, and even tools should you need a wrench for some reason! My main reason for going to the grocery store is to get lots of water and fresh fruit. The FHL allows us to bring in a closed water container.
My packing list includes plenty of lip balm and lotion since the air is so dry there. I bring my computer, cords, and my Fopydo for taking pictures from books using my phone. What is a Fopydo? www.fopydo.com/ You will likely see a few of us using one when we are on the third floor of the library.
One of the most important things to bring if you will be using your own computer in the library, is a cable lock that can help protect this important possession.
Light sleeper? Bring earplugs and a eye mask. Good sleep makes a better learner and researcher. The rest of what you need to bring is the standard stuff for any trip. If you don’t have a packing list, start one now and check online for lists others have posted on websites. It’s terrible to waste FHL time by running to the store again to purchase something you forgot to pack.
© 2015, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.