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Archive for the ‘Classes’ Category

More stuff! Overhead projector transparencies! A while back I looked at one section of my office library shelves and realized that two entire 45-inch shelves were filled with 3-ring binders of old presentation materials. These are from the years when I enjoyed giving genealogy presentations to various local groups. I spent hours and hours researching and preparing for these public speaking events.

Specifically, the notebooks on my shelves dated 1999 through 2004. The binders were full of my notes, reference materials, handouts, publicity flyers, and the transparencies. I remember how I carefully stored them in sheet protectors and discretely numbered each one in case I ever dropped the pile and had to put them back in order! I wonder how much money I spent on boxes of blank transparencies and sheet protectors? To each event I generally transported a screen and a very nice, but large and cumbersome overhead projector purchased at an Iowa Genealogical Society garage sale (when I began using PowerPoint, I donated the projector back to IGS–they probably didn’t want it any more than I did).

My strategy with the overflowing binders on my shelves:

1) since I no longer enjoy preparing and giving presentations, and
2) since some of the material is out-of-date,

I decided to scan and toss! The likelihood that I will give any more presentations is very small, but, just in case, I will not have to start from scratch should I want to reference any of this material.

As I went through the binders I was quite surprised to discover some valuable information that I can use for reference in my upcoming writing projects; thus, it was worth the time to review my research from more than a decade ago! And, by scanning it, I can reference what I need without having the notebooks cluttering my office.

I admit it: I saved some paper materials from four of my favorite presentations, but the transparencies have gone to the landfill to deteriorate over the next million years. Too bad we haven’t always been as aware of the permanency of these materials as we are today.

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Still another learning opportunity! The Iowa Genealogical Society’s 2013 Spring Technology Workshop – today!

I came home all excited… but, I like technology, so my enthusiasm shouldn’t be too surprising!

“The Ins and Outs of GEDCOM Files”
“Websites”
“All About Scanners”
“Publishing with Lulu.com”

These were the four conference sessions and I can truly say that I learned several things in each session. I often feel that IF I learn one thing in an entire day, the day has been worthwhile!

I didn’t know anything about GEDCOMs before going today; now I can use them. Previously, I’ve gotten my feet wet in the other three topics; in fact, in scanning and publishing I’ve been knee deep! But, I was ready to expand on my knowledge in those areas and all three hit me with just what I needed.

In addition, the food was delicious and I talked with friends and renewed some other acquaintances.

It was a good day!

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at State Library of Iowa during National Library Week

This week I attended eleven educational sessions sponsored by the State Library of Iowa. Barb Corson, Program Director for Information Services, assembled a varied program of classes for the week. The library offers a year-round program for state employees to earn Continuing Education credit. Since the library is tax-supported, the classes are also offered free to Iowa residents. In fact, Iowa residents can attend any classes that the library offers, not just the ones offered during this special week.

These classes range from accessing and using current census statistical information, to tips for Google searches and using EBSCO Host for research, from heritage document digital availability to surfing the Iowa Library Services website and the Iowa legislative website, and much more.

A highlight was the enthusiastic presentation by Cory Quist, Librarian for the Iowa Law Library. We saw a book written in Latin of Roman law published in 1539 by “the first college professor.” This book was written during the beginning of the Renaissance as people emerged from using ecclesiastical law to using the more secular Roman law to guide their lives. Cory described the purchase process for the original 300 books costing $500 for the foundation of the library. He even passed around one of the original books for everyone to touch and see. He recommended Johnson Brigham’s book “Pioneer History of the Territorial and State Library of Iowa.” (I found a digital copy of this book on WorldVitalRecords, a subscription website to which I have a subscription.) Cory also explained the transition of the law library to the “.com generation.”

An aid from the Ombudsman’s office described the Iowa Open Records law and the Iowa Open meetings law. Another presenter demonstrated how to surf the Iowa Legislative website and how to check the status of current legislation. Sad to say, I concluded I need to pay closer attention to Iowa Government.

I especially enjoyed the class about all the projects to digitize historical documents by various state agencies and universities and URLs for finding them. I was amazed at all of the information that can be found on or linked to the Iowa Library Services website.

This week’s classes were a “golden” (pun intended) opportunity for this newly retired person. All it cost was my time and gas and the effort to fix a brown-bag lunch. And, I even spent a couple hours on Monday at the State Historical Museum, concluding that Dave and I must return soon (usually I only focus on doing research at the historical library and tend to forget about the other part of the building). I enjoyed a walk around the capitol complex on Tuesday, the nicest day of the week. On Wednesday I was thrilled to find and purchase a yogurt maker at Kitchen Collection, an East Village store. (After class on Tuesday I had driven all the way out to Jordan Creek Mall to go to the Williams Sonoma store to find one and the only version they had cost way too much.) I ate some of my delicious homemade yogurt this morning for breakfast.

It was a very good week!

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