Thursday, April 16, 2009

Feeding Genealogists

If you feed them, they will come.  Of course, it depends on what you feed them.  While genealogists enjoy food, they also survive on research and information.  

My local society, The North Platte Genealogical Society (North Platte, Nebraska), met last night at the Family History Center in the LDS Church.  It was a typical Nebraska windy day and evening with gusts up to 43 miles per hour.  But, they came out in it because they wanted to learn. 

While many genealogical societies are faltering, ours is surviving.  We provide interesting meetings and programs which makes them WANT to get out in just about anything but a Nebraska blizzard to attend.  They don't go home empty handed.  At each meeting they are given handouts that pertain to the program, research tips and news items about doing research. 

After a brief business meeting last night, we took groups of four people at a time into the room that houses the Family History Center.  Some had been there and others had not.  They learned how to use the Family History Library Catalog and how to order microfilm and microfiche. The new FamilySearch was demonstrated and they learned about the readers and printers.  They were shown the indefinite microfilm and the microfiche that remains there.  We presented a world of research materials there and that can be ordered through the center.  

In case you haven't noticed, there are three video lessons on the Family History Library Catalog web page.  They are great for learning more about using the catalog.  

Will they come back to order microfilm?  I hope they do return to the Family History Center.  If we keep feeding them, they will most likely attend the society meetings.  This means our society is alive and well.  

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