Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Year's Wishes for SGS

What would you MOST like to see happen at SGS in 2010?
I've been pondering this question for the last couple of days, trying to figure out where to focus my energies in the coming year (or at least 5 months).
One looming issue facing SGS is our library lease. Our current 10-year lease is up in April 2011. Since we really can't afford our current rent, I'm having grave doubts about our ability to negotiate a new lease that is within our financial reach. Ironically, the space we have--while in a great location--doesn't fit our current needs very well. We could really use a class/social room that will hold 30-40 people. We need more easily accessible parking. We need more space for computers and appropriate wiring to support them. BUT we can't really afford to pay even our current rent, so how can we afford a more spacious location?
How important is the library to SGS and its membership? The recent survey on this site and the library sign-in log indicate that it is only used by a very small fraction of our membership. Is it important to the rest of our members to maintain this library? What should its focus be?
The other issue I continually ponder is how to get more of our members actively involved in SGS activities. We've tried expanding our class and program offerings. Will more members turn out than the usual handful? If not, what would bring more members out to SGS? The state focus groups started in 2005 brought out a lot of members, but attendance at those meetings quickly declined. What programs could/should SGS offer that would interest more members?
I'd love to know your thoughts on these and other issues facing SGS. What would YOU like to see happen at SGS in 2010? Please click on the word "comment" below and let me know your thoughts.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

There's always something new to learn....

Yesterday's Computer Interest Group [CIG] meeting was, as always, educational. Dawn Bingaman, CIG chair, shared a web-based application she "discovered" before taking off on a research trip this fall. It's called Evernote [] and is definitely worth a look. What Evernote allows you to do--for free!--is share notes, documents, photos, saved records, even videos and audio recordings with anyone you wish, or just yourself. These records can be accessed by ANY web-accessible device--desktop or laptop computer, web-enabled phone or PDA, Mac or PC based. Do check it out. Space is somewhat limited [40 MB/month] unless you want to pay a small fee, but Dawn found this web tool very useful on her research trip.
Lou Daly shared her new "toy"--a Livescribe pulse pen []. Using special dot paper, the pulse smartpen records and links audio to what your write. Lou plans on using it when interviewing relatives, so she can focus on listening to their answers instead of trying to write down everything. This new system should make it so she won't have to transcribe what is recorded--the pen will do it for her! Is that cool or what?
There were about 25 in attendance at yesterday's CIG, a relatively low number for this SGS Special Interest Group. Please remember that ALL of our SIGs are here for YOU, our members. If you're not finding groups and meetings that meet your needs, please let us know. What are we missing? Are you interested in starting a new group? We just need ten people to express interest to start a new SIG. Let our Director of Education, Jean Roth [] know your interests.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Party Musings

Thank You to all who attended today's holiday party.
We had a little trouble with JoAnne's DVD, but had lots of treats and most people tried the genealogy holiday craft project. At least three people expressed interest in joining a genealogy craft group. Are there any other takers out there?
Special thanks to Cary, Jean and Mary for all their work preparing for the party.

Now, my question for the rest of you.....why weren't you there? Please answer the survey question to the right. I won't know who's answering what, but am curious to know if social get-togethers are just not desireable or you're not into holiday gatherings, crafts, ??? I've been thinking that maybe we need to start having more informal gatherings--like weekly coffee and chat sessions to "talk genealogy." Is that something members would attend?

By now all members should have received their latest Bulletin and Newsletter. I've had positive responses from about 15 of you, saying you like having the Newsletter available online. How about the rest of you? Please let me know by either leaving a comment below [they come directly to me] or emailing me directly [ (use the "@" sign instead of "-at-")].