Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pleased I took notice of the alarm this morning

When the alarm clock burst into song this morning I was sorely tempted to turn it off and roll over but I am a conscientious old girl who had a conference to attend.  After a good chat over breakfast with Louise St Denis I wandered over to the auditorium with Mr Luxegen to hear the 8:30 am keynote by Curt Witcher from The Allen County Public Library.


There are not enough superlatives to describe Curt's performance. I was once a librarian and was so proud to see a member of that profession give a provoking, polished and passionate presentation. So much of what Curt had to say resonated with me,  I have blogged before that I do genealogy for fun  - for me it is not an academic pursuit. Curt emphasized that a lot of people, like me, do genealogy for fun.
One of Curt's slides
 I typed madly during Curt's talk and will paste some of the notes I took into this post - they may not make a lot of sense out of context but perhaps they will.  Here goes

* These are the Best of times for genealogy.
* We all have a story to tell  - with technology we can tell it better and more often
* The power of telling our story can’t be over emphasized
*Digitized records can touch people where they live, they can be Touchstones to hold onto to help old people remember
* Digitisation makes things available forever and captures pieces of history
* Most technology use in The Allen County Public Library is in the genealogy center
* Technology allows us to move from spending resources finding things to spening reources on evaluating things to help us tell our stories
* Do you want to spend hours finding a document or ten minutes finding lots then hours evaluating what you have found?
* Web2.0 has changed the face of genealogy
* Wikis and crowd sourcing - wow
* Anyone can answer questions and contribute to FamilySearch wiki - some say "how dare prople mess with ym stuff?"
*  Research proves that the more often a page is edited the greater the accuracy
* Crowdsourcing can help us identify documents
* Libraries all over are digitising
* Making info more accessible - Family History Archive and Internet Archive
* Public domain ddigitising vs. inter library loan - How abt digital interlibrary loans?
* There are Millions of books available at your fingertips that you can search
* Wdytya is  inspiring people to do genealogy
* StoryCorps Newsletter tell your story archived searchable
*Rapid change in technology - Changes the face of genealogy
* If you are interested in more storytelling you will be so happy becaue you will have more at your fingertips
* Baby boomers are living a generation after retiring and reinventing themselves
* They have a deep concern in history and legacy they will expect technology in their family history life.
* People are connected all the time
* A lot of peeps in genie space hungry to use technology
* Societies don’t have web pages
The Face of Genealogy
* Sophisticated technology users expect to use technology for family history
* You don’t need an ancestor chart - you just need to know how you are looking for
* Genealogy is all about the experience - not about doing it right eg citations
* It’s about fun and success - it's a fact that people engage in things where they will have fun
Success  Enjoyment Experience

* Build our community together so we can develop new and better resources
* Living history is dying help us preserve it.
* Developers - let's have more mashups

Curt Wichler at The Family History Library
This evening I spoke with Curt at the function in the Family History Library and congratulated him on his talk. He kindly allowed me to take a snap of him - those that I had taken from the back row of the audience were a little fuzzy!

3 comments:

Genealophile said...

Thanks, Geniaus, for such an interesting summary of what must have been an inspiring talk. As a forrmer history teacher and teacher-librarian I applaud the encouragement to pursue genealogy for fun. It doesn't have to be about the rigours of scholarship; if people experience the excitement and enjoyment of discovery the desire for accuracy usually follows.

Aillin said...

Thanks Geniaus for sharing your notes from this Rootstech lecture.
I agree that finding lots in a short space of time and evaluating it later over a longer time is often more fun than taking a long time to find the information in the first place! All the new technology is allowing greater access for those who cannot get to repositories and at the same time allowing faster access for everyone, and access to information that would have previously taken years to find or would have never been found (eg. Trove newspapers). It really is a great time for people to get interested in family history. Thanks again for sharing your experiences at Rootstech.

Geniaus said...

Curt certainly validated my thoughts. Sometimes I feel more 'serious'genealogists look down on the efforts of we who 'just do it for fun.'

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