Sunday, March 27, 2011

Presentations at SGS

We've had two great presentations at SGS this weekend: Sharyl Swope gave us an introduction to Legacy genealogy software yesterday (Saturday) and Alan McCool taught about the importance of geographic boundaries in genealogy research today (Sunday). I attended both, even though I don't use Legacy and am a geographer by training. And I learned something new at both talks.
My question: Why don't more SGS members attend our educational programs?
22 people attended Sharyl's talk (a very respectable number, IMHO); only 5 of us attended Alan's presentation today. Why the difference?
Should we stop scheduling presentations for Sunday afternoons? Since the overwhelming response to last year's surveys was that we need to schedule presentations on weekends, NOT weeknights or weekdays, we've been trying to make use of both weekend days.
As Director of Education Jean Roth said this afternoon, it's embarrassing to ask a speaker to spend hours preparing and then have only a few people attend. How can we avoid this happening in the future?
Was it today's topic that wasn't of interest? Do you just not know what you don't know?
Did we not publicize today's talk appropriately or sufficiently?
We have 3 more Sunday talks scheduled in April and May. Should we try to move them to other times?
I really would like to hear your thoughts on this topic. You can post them here by clicking on the "COMMENT" button below, or email me directly at Thank you.
P.S.: Please take a moment to answer the new survey question at right.


  1. Was sorry to miss the presentations this weekend but was out of town. I work Tuesday - Saturday so Sunday works best for me. I plan on making it to several of the upcoming Sunday classes. Have you thought about holding some of the classes at SPL branches or other community centers?

  2. We've thought about it, but only used "outside" locations when larger audiences have been anticipated. Seattle community centers charge a fee; Seattle Public Libraries require open admission and no fee for attendance (not necessarily a bad thing). Any ideas on WHERE we should target--Ballard? West Seattle? Beacon Hill?

  3. I just read the Seattle Public Library's rules for room use and didn't realize that you 'may not advertise or sell products, memberships or services, and no fees, donations or money may be requested or collected'. Guess that wouldn't work for SGS.

  4. Not necessarily. While we'd certainly prefer to be able to charge fees to nonmembers and/or limit attendance to our SGS members, we need to find some way to make SGS more visible in the community. I'm open to any and all suggestions for how to do this. Ginny

  5. It sounds like we couldn't advertised SGS membership if we used Seattle Public Library's rooms. Wonder if there are other community venues that would work. Will do some research.

    Another idea that I had would be recording presentations and providing them online. Those who couldn't make it out could pull it up on the computer on their own time. This might make it more worth the time of the presenters.