30 September 2009

Florida Genealogial Society - October's SPECIAL Meeting - Research-a Rama

The Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa) will host a special monthly meeting on Saturday, October 3, 2009, at the John F. Germany Library in downtown Tampa. The event is called Research-a-Rama and its intent is to provide members of the society and the public with a day of high quality presentations and insights into using the excellent Genealogy and Local History collection of the library.

Research-a-Rama will take place between 10:30 AM and 4:30 PM in both the auditorium and the Genealogy and Local History collection located on 2-W with concurrent activities in both areas.

The event will begin with a very short FGS business meeting at which the slate of candidates for the FGS 2010 Board will be announced. Nominations will be accepted from the floor from FGS members. (Voting will take place at the November meeting on Saturday, 7 November 2009.)

There will be four presentations given in the auditorium during the day, given by Drew Smith and George G. Morgan. The presentations will include:

§ “Finding the Books You Want” – An introduction to using the online library catalog and WorldCat (Drew Smith)

§ “Using Ancestry Library Edition (Part 1)” – An overview of the content of the Ancestry.com site and its organization (George G. Morgan)

§ “Using Ancestry Library Edition (Part 2)” – Search strategies for searching databases (George G. Morgan)

§ “Online Newspaper Research” – An introduction to the newspaper databases at the THPLC and how to search them, with a mention of TRAILS and the obituary database content and microfilm search process. (Drew Smith)

The library auditorium will be set up classroom style with tables and chairs, and the John F. Germany Library will provide the use of laptop computers from its computer labs for use during the sessions. In addition, you can bring your own laptop. The auditorium will have plenty of electrical cords for you and there is Wi-Fi connectivity for you.

Concurrent with the presentations in the auditorium, there will be several activities taking place in the Genealogy and Local History Department on 2-W in the library. The FGS Board members and society volunteers will provide two one-hour periods during the day when they will staff two tables. One session will be held in the morning and another in the afternoon as follows:

§ One table will be for “How to Get Started” with genealogical research. This will be similar to the “Ask a Genealogist” program that the society provides at the library each month. We will provide guidance to get started with research, supplemented by assistance from library staff.

§ One table will be for “Brick Wall Suggestions.” Board members and society members will provide more specific suggestions for seeking alternative records and research methods for overcoming brick wall problems. Again, supplemental assistance from staff members will be helpful.

The other activity will be two iterations of a guided tour of the collection and resources in the excellent Genealogy and Local History Department. Please note that the John F. Germany Public Library's genealogy collection has added millions of dollars worth of genealogical materials over the last four years!

Drew Smith and a member of the library staff will lead these tours. (These tours will be a direct follow-up to the first session in the auditorium in the morning.) The tour will focus on: the organization of the physical print collection and its modified Dewey Decimal Classification numbering; location and organization of the periodicals and city directories; contents of the microfilm and microfiche materials; the maps and gazetteers; vertical surname files; vertical clipping files; circulating collection; microfilm readers and printers, with focus on the ST-200 units; and other little known or used resources in the collection. (If there are any people who missed an earlier collection tour, another make-up tour can be conducted at 3:30 PM.)

This very special event will be advertised by the library, by FGS, and in the media. It is open to the public and is certain to be a very popular event. Make sure that you arrive in the auditorium early for the event. Bring your laptop and research materials!

Yes, this is just one week after the FGS Fall Seminar with Elizabeth Shown Mills, but we'll all be energized by Elizabeth's presentations. In addition, everyone will learn how to hone his or her research better than ever.

In addition, the Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library Cooperative has a very special announcement to make that day about a new online resource for all the county library card holders. You'll be thrilled too!

Make sure you plan to attend this very special education opportunity! The Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa is a leader in genealogical education, and you do not want to miss this unparalleled day of research-honing sessions!