Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FGS 2011 is history

I love conferences, especially FGS because the society management seminars are so helpful. (Officers, if your society is not growing, or is withering on the vine, you should listen to those sessions. CDs or MP3s are available!) I was honored to be a member of the Local Publicity Committee. A ton of planning goes into this event!

A quick synopsis:
  • Sunday: Went to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. It was very interesting! Thanks to ALPL for being part of the conference, and encouraging us to visit.
  • Monday: Watched the Springfield Labor Day parade; shopped at the used book store; helped pack more than a thousand goodie bags. 
  • Tuesday: Librarians Day sessions; press conference run-through; FamilySearch bloggers' reception.
  • Wednesday: Plenary and society management sessions; Old Fashioned Prairie Social with ice cream, music, games and prizes.
  • Thursday: Breakfast program; keynote address by the Archivist of the United States; press conference and media interviews. As editor of the Indiana Genealogical Society newsletter, I had 2 reasons to be proud: IGS president, Michael Maben, presented a check for more than $24,000 as the IGS Matching Challenge supported FGS's "Preserve the Pensions" project to digitize the War of 1812  pensions. Also, FGS presented Curt Witcher with the first genealogical tourism award to recognize The Genealogy Center's impact on the city of Fort Wayne.
  • Friday: Sessions; did a stint on the registration desk and as a room monitor; 35th anniversary gala.
  • Saturday: More sessions; another room monitor stint; marveled at the large Ancestry Day crowd; saw youth from FamilySearch Kids Camp; went to the Dick Eastman dinner.
  • Sunday: Farewell brunch, with laughs and tears as we listened to J. Mark Lowe recall 9-11 (many of us were at FGS in Davenport). Visited Lincoln's home; browsed an antique mall and meandered back home.
  • Monday: unpacked; answered e-mails; attended a fundraiser. I was lucky enough to have Monday as a vacation day. Some volunteers went right back to work.
I haven't even mentioned the many other lunches and dinners with old friends and new. Bennigan's saw some of us so often, we should get frequent flyer miles. I put on 5 lbs., and must have brought back another 30 lbs. in materials, books and merchandise. No wonder I'm tired.

Thanks to FGS president, Pat Oxley; national co-chairs, Josh Taylor and Paula Stuart-Warren; Illinois State Genealogical Society co-chairs Susie Pope and David Kent Coy; the intrepid publicity committee (Thomas MacEntee and Julie Cahill Tarr, thanks for letting me be a part); and everyone else who volunteered or assisted.

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