[APG Public List] National Genealogical Meetings

Wanda Samek wanda at sameks.us
Fri Oct 2 14:39:13 MDT 2009

Planning a national conference is a huge undertaking in any situation, but
the difficulty is compounded when there is no clear-cut definition of the
expertise of attendees being served.  Planning is relatively straightforward
when planning for a specific class of professional.  When trying to be all
things to all people, the result is doomed to be less than perfect.  In our
case, we are trying to serve every level of genealogical practitioner.
Perhaps our tracks should focus on levels of expertise rather than segments
of the profession (i.e., beginner, intermediate, advanced, professional,
educator, etc.) - or at least one track per year could be dedicated to a
level of expertise so attendees could plan their trips wisely.  Beginners
might get the most help from that arrangement; however, it is my opinion
that most people attending a national conference have spent some time and
effort in research and are perhaps further along in their skill development
than they may think.
I personally do not care for the open forum style mentioned earlier.  It
lends itself to abuse by particularly aggressive attendees who are
determined to either receive personalized help or justify a position.  Such
an offering would have to be conducted carefully with rules laid out in
Wanda Samek

-----Original Message-----
From: apgpubliclist-bounces at apgen.org
[mailto:apgpubliclist-bounces at apgen.org] On Behalf Of jfonkert at aol.com
Sent: Friday, October 02, 2009 2:47 PM
To: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Subject: Re: [APG Public List] National Genealogical Meetings

Jack and others:
Of course, you are correct -- discussion of location and use of records
cannot, and should not, be completely divorced from discussions of
methodology and problem-solving.  We're talking about the level of emphasis
of each of these things in a lecture -- be it 45 minutes, an hour or 90
minutes.  Obviously, no single lecture can teach every thing there is to
know about analysis.  But, that doesn't mean we shouldn't use short case
studies to illustrate important concepts.  I don't think anyone is arguing
for one kind of lecture over another -- rather, we're talking about an
appropriate mix for a national conference.
National conferences are an expensive undertaking both for the sponsoring
organizations and the registrants, so a discussion of the program options
seems a good one to have.  Programs for 2010 are pretty well set by now, so
any influence this discussion might have for future conferences will have
little impact before 2011 or later.  As I said before, we aren't going to
all agree, which is to say conference planners have a difficult job.  Back
to work here.
Jay Fonkert, CG
Saint Paul, MN

-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Butler <jackvbutler at jbandcb.com>
To: jfonkert at aol.com
Cc: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Sent: Fri, Oct 2, 2009 2:14 pm
Subject: RE: [APG Public List] National Genealogical Meetings

I guess that I must have a slightly different view - I don't think that the
discussion of the location and use of records can be so easily divorced from
a discussion of research methodology and problem-solving. Frankly, I don't
think that I have ever seen a case study or  a lesson in problem solving
that did not involve the location and use of records resources.
As always, of course, the devil is in the details - in this case, in the
"use" of located records.  I suspect that what many people mean by "research
methodology"  in this context is really data analysis - how one dissects and
evaluates a record once that it has been found so that you can suck all of
the nectar from it. Or how one distills and connects information from a
series of seemingly disparate records to create a map or picture that makes
Analysis can be taught, but it is exceedingly difficult in the typical one
hour lecture format.
Jack Butler


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