Saturday, November 21, 2009

Getting the most from Special Interest Groups at SGS

I happened to stop by SGS this morning while the Irish Interest Group was meeting. There were about a dozen people sitting around the big table. Jean Roth has been leading both the Irish and German interest groups for many years, and doing a great job coming up with topics and presentations. After the meeting, one of the regular attendees said to me, "You know, Ginny. I could put together a presentation based on some of my research for an interest group meeting." What a novel idea!
SGS supports Special Interest Groups (SIGs) focused on Irish, German, and Canadian research, computers and genealogy, and MAC computer users. We also still have a few functioning State Focus Groups--Pennsylvania, Illinois, Washington, Missouri, ??? [there may be others, but they're not coming to mind].
All of these groups are supposed to be forums for group learning and sharing. Group leaders should not have to bear all of the responsibility for preparing discussion topics. All of us who have been researching our families--whether for a year or multiple decades--have learned things in our research that are worth sharing with others researching in the same areas. Please consider offering to talk about something you've discovered, even if you've only got 15 minutes of material to share. Talk to your group's coordinator and let them know you're willing to help. And check the SGS calendar for future meetings of the groups that overlap your research areas. If you haven't been to an interest group meeting for awhile, drop in and start participating. What you've learned might help someone else break through their brick wall.

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