November 18, 2013 by J. Johnson
All conferences should have a special day for librarians before their “real” business starts. Fortunately for genealogy and local history librarians, there was such a day before the Federation of Genealogical Societies held in Fort Wayne, In. on August 20 with a luncheon sponsored by ProQuest. It was easy to attend this year because of the proximity to Ohio. The morning session included Kris Rzepczynski of the Archives of Michigan who discussed the major upheaval in his state with genealogical and local history materials and Elaine Kuhn of the Kenton County (KY) Public Library who spoke on how they made progress by partnering with various organizations. The entire day had a collaboration theme, with the afternoon including a panel discussion with Curt Witcher, Allen County (IN) Public Library’s dynamic manager of the genealogy collection and the morning speakers. Following this was an in depth tour of Allen County’s Public Library, the best genealogical collection in the U.S. in a public library.
What did I take away from this all genealogy – all librarian day? Collaboration with all varieties of other entities is almost always a good thing and results in a bigger result than what you could have done on your own. There are a lot of librarians interested in genealogy – about 125 attended. Networking at lunch with them was a useful exercise along with snagging the chocolate brownie dessert! Now if Comic Con had a Librarian Day before the other attendees arrived, just think of the possibilities.
This article was included in the OLC SSCD Fall 2013 Newsletter