18 September 2010

Opinion: Sacrificing the LA Public Library

Beginning in July, the LA Public libraries were closed two days a week due to budget concerns. That, despite a growing patron base. Yes, the number of  library users has been growing as job seekers and students flock to use the Internet and free books and resources.

This article from LA Weekly suggests several actions that could have been implemented if the city administration had wanted to protect the library system.  (Note: I have not vetted the statistics included in the LA Weekly, which is self-described as "the Nation's largest alternative newsweekly and website.") Here's one point that really got my knickers in a twist:
In July, City Controller Greuel revealed that the city has not created a centralized billing process — after years and years of talking about it — and managed to collect only 53 percent of its bills in fiscal year 2008-09, losing $260.4 million that year...

...The 73 libraries needed only a relative pittance this year — just $8 million — to remain open on Mondays, for example...

The article notes that other large cities have recognized the importance of keeping its library system intact. Boston, New York and Chicago have found ways to keep their libraries open. A survey of 20 top library systems find that Dallas, San Diego, Houston and Nashville are closing one day a week. Only LA is closing two days a week.

NOTE:  This is not an official stance of the Southern California Genealogical Society.  It's my own.  I love the main LA Public Library.  I feel at peace within its walls. Its genealogy section holds secrets that I have not yet unlocked. I feel it's a travesty to see library hours and services curtailed.  If you share my concerns, it's not too late to tell Mayor Villaraigosa and the Council members how you feel. - Paula Hinkel

Mayor Villaraigosa
Council members

RootsMagic User Group Meeting Sunday, 9-19

RootsMagic Users in the LA area, join us to learn more about using RootsMagic software to organize your genealogy records and information. The User group is open to the public.

Date: Sunday, September 19, 2010
Time: 2-4 PM
Place: SCGS Library, 417 Irving Drive (cross street Glenoaks) in Burbank
We have a number of new RootsMagic users so we will review some basics of getting started and working with databases, followed by a separate session for beginners, if needed. We will also cover sources of help with using RM, including the online information at support.rootsmagic.com.

Has anyone been using the New Family Search features of RM4? If so, we would appreciate hearing about your experiences with it. I would like to begin a dialogue on this subject in preparation for the upcoming roll-out of public access to the new FamilySearch Tree, as reported on The Ancestry Insider's blog.

There will be plenty of time at this meeting to answer your questions about using RM4 and to share your experiences with the program. We also need your input on what topics you would like to have covered at our future meetings.

Next Meeting - will be on October 17. One topic for this meeting will be the process of integrating media (audio/video/computer) files files into the RM4 database.

Future Meetings
- Note that our November meeting will be held on November 28.

Latest Version of RM4 - Version (13 Aug 2010). For more information see the RootsMagic blog.

For further information about the meeting or the user group, contact Jay Holladay: jholladay@ca.rr.com

15 September 2010

Area Event: Oral History Workshop at UCLA

The UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research is offering its biannual oral history workshop for UCLA graduate students, faculty, staff, and community members.  The workshop will provide an introduction to the basics of oral history methodology, including:

- Drawing up interview outlines and questions
- Effective interviewing techniques
- Legal and ethical concerns

The workshop takes place in two sessions.  The first session will cover the general issues and skills involved in conducting an oral history; the second session is optional and will focus on developing and refining participants’own projects and providing them feedback on their interview design and techniques.

Dates:   Saturday, October 2, 2010 and Saturday, October 16, 2010
Time:     9 AM-1 PM
Place:    UCLA Young Research Library Presentation Room, room 11348
             (down the hall to the right side of the circulation desk; note that you’ll have to wait on the portico outside until the library opens at 9)

Workshop leader:  Teresa Barnett, Head, Center for Oral History Research

*Enrollment is limited, so respond promptly in order to secure a slot*.  In your RSVP, please indicate whether you want to enroll in both sessions or only in the first one, and if you are currently conducting or planning an oral history project (e.g., for your dissertation), indicate what the project is about and what stage it is at.

RSVP:  tbarnett@library.ucla.edu  or 310-206-2454

Teresa Barnett
UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research
Young Research Library 11717
Los Angeles, CA  90095-1575
(310) 206-2454

14 September 2010

SCGS on LA as Subject Website

LA as Subject has rolled out its new website to spotlight the many archives and libraries in Los Angeles County. Here's a link to the SCGS page on their website. Check it out!

12 September 2010

Area Event: Barbara Renick at Immigrant Genealogical Society 10/10/10

We are passing along this announcement on behalf of our friends at the Immigrant Genealogical Society.

Barbara Renick's "Ask and You Will Receive" will explore the many sites on online help.  As many of you know, Barbara frequently lectures and teaches computer labs at national family history conferences and at the Regional Family History Center in Orange.  Her latest book on tracing your family's history and heritage was sponsored by the National Genealogical Society for their 100th anniversary.  Barbara is currently serving on the NGS Board of Directors.  Check out her web page at www.Zroots.com.

The meeting will be held at the Immigrant Genealogical Society Library, 1310 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank, starting promptly at 2pm on Sunday, October 10.  For those of you who have never been to our library, be sure to look at our Italian collection as well as many other offerings.  Thanks to the Pommern Special Interest Group for opening their quarterly meeting, there will be no charge for admission--and you are welcome to share in our refreshments and peruse our stacks until we close at 5pm.   Hope you will want to join us for this special opportunity.

Donated: 35 Boxes of Genealogy Books!

The renovation of the Los Angeles FamilySearch Center resulted in a windfall for the Southern California Genealogical Society's Family Research Library. FamilySearch donated 35 boxes of genealogy books to SCGS!

Thanks go to several people involved in this fabulous addition to the Library:

1. Charlotte Bocage, for identifying the opportunity and organizing the donation.
2. Mr. McBride and his assistant, Mr. Yu, from the FamilySearch Center
3. Linda Mustion for the use of her truck.
4. Don Heck for unloading the truck
5. Sally Emerson and her team for processing the donations and getting them on the shelves.

Thanks to everyone!  We can't wait to see what treasures are in those boxes.

11 September 2010

FamilySearch.org Offers 81 Free Classes

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:
Free Classes Provide Worldwide Access to Family History Expertise

SALT LAKE CITY–As students all over the country head back to school, family historians also have the opportunity to learn –but they can do it from home at their convenience.

FamilySearch now offers 81 free lessons on FamilySearch.org, enabling people anywhere in the world to access family history expertise any time. The topics range from basic research to training on specific record types and can be beneficial to both beginners and experienced researchers. Most of the classes come from research consultants in the world-famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, but FamilySearch is also now working with partners to broaden the pool of expertise.

For example, FamilySearch worked with the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Missouri to record and post 12 classes. These classes are available on both FamilySearch.org and the Midwest Genealogy Center’s site. Such collaboration benefits everyone involved, according to Darin Hakes with FamilySearch Community Services.

“We see partnering as a mutually beneficial situation for FamilySearch, our partners, and the patrons,” Hakes said. “We realize that FamilySearch does not have expertise in every area, nor do we have the bandwidth to create all the training that is needed. However, there are many excellent individuals and organizations that have created training that can benefit the genealogical community. They may not have the resources to record and publish their classes, so working together is the perfect solution.”

Midwest Genealogy Center librarian Janice Schultz agrees that partnering with FamilySearch increases their reach.

“The online classes allow people to attend no matter where they live,” Schultz said. “It helps us achieve our mission of educating genealogists. We have received many positive comments about these classes.”

In addition to the Mid-Continent Public Library, FamilySearch is working with the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Board of Certified Genealogists, and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. Individual genealogists may also use FamilySearch’s free services to record and share their presentations. One result of an individual partnering with FamilySearch is a class called “Inferential Genealogy” by prominent researcher and teacher Tom Jones.

“Tom’s class is excellent, but may be too complex for some patrons,” Hakes said. “We tried to provide a different instructional approach, to make the presentation of the content more visual and provide opportunities for practice. We added value by presenting his content in a different way, taking something fairly complex and making it more easily digestible.”

Upcoming FamilySearch classes will focus on U.S. courthouse research and a series of courses for those just getting started in family history research. There are also more interactive classes planned on reading handwritten records in different languages, a list that now includes Dutch, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

All of the classes can be accessed on www.familysearch.org by clicking on Free Online Classes on the home page.

Thanks to Dick Eastman for carrying this announcement

08 September 2010

Area Event: Capturing the Spoken Word

 September 18, 2010 and February 12, 2011

An Introductory Oral History Workshop, 
hosted by the 
Center for Oral and Public History
California State University, Fullerton

Cost: FREE 

This class is IDEAL for students and independent researchers seeking to learn about the preparation, recording, transcription, and archival organization of oral histories.
Instruction from 10am-2pm, with an optional lunch for $12.
Don’t miss out! With only 25 slots available, enrollment is sure to fill up quickly.

Pollack Library South– 360
CSU Fullerton Main Campus

RSVP Required: Center for Oral and Public History
(657) 278-3580

About the lecturers:
Dr. Natalie Fousekis is Director of the Center for Oral and Public History. She has been engaged in oral history work for over fifteen years —conducting dozens of interviews, teaching oral history methodology to undergraduate and graduate students, and coordinating and directing a number of oral history projects. Dr. Fousekis is the author of the forthcoming book, Demanding Child Care: Women’s Activism and the Politics of Welfare, 1940-1971 (University of Illinois Press, 2011).

Dr. Cora Granata is Director of the European Studies Program and Associate Director of the Center for Oral and Public History. She is co-editor of The Human Tradition in Modern Europe (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), and is finishing her next book, Celebration and Suspicion: Jews and Sorbs in the German Democratic Republic. She has been engaged with oral history since 1998, conducting dozens of oral histories in the U.S. and Germany. She has published award-winning research on cultural minorities in Germany and on the problem of nostalgia in oral history.

New Website: LA as Subject

We just received an announcement of the updated LA as Subject website.  Check it out!

LA as Subject is an organization comprised of libraries, repositories, collections and organizations that have archives related to Los Angeles, California.  If you have roots in Los Angeles or just want to learn more about the history of LA, check out the many members of LA as Subject.

The organization hosts the annual Archives Bazaar that spotlights the many special collections and priceless holdings in the area.  SCGS will have a table at this year's Archives Bazaar, which will be held in the Doheny Memorial Library on the campus of USC on Saturday, October 23. See you there!.

06 September 2010

SCGS Tech Talk - 3 Minute Survey

SCGS is in the process of developing new programs for the Society's members and friends. Because these new programs will take advantage of today's technology, we want to find the best way to deliver the programs.

To gather the necessary information, we are starting a new feature called "Tech Talk." Each "Tech Talk" survey will take about 3 minutes to complete.

The first "Tech Talk" survey asks about your use of cell phones. Please click the link below to take the survey. Your responses will be anonymous, and you will be able to see the combined results thus far once you are finished.


03 September 2010

Bargain Alert: Family Tree DNA

We received a note from Bennett Greenspan, President of Family Tree DNA. The message follows:

Last fall Family Tree DNA offered a significant discount for anyone who wanted to order the Full mtDNA sequence.

The response was overwhelming, and, as in prior Full mtDNA sequence sales, we crushed the lab. Despite the fact that we had more lab technicians and more equipment, the volume was far above what we could reasonable handle. As we have now caught up with the huge backlog, we are prepared to offer the Full mtDNA sequence test again at a promotional price, but with lessons learned!

We will offer this test at discount for a very limited amount of time, and we will limit the number of orders to 250 on a first come, first serve basis. Payment must be made by credit card at the time of the order. The sale will begin now and once we have sold 250 tests we will discontinue this sale price and return prices to the current level.

By limiting the quantity of this promotion, we expect results to be posted within 6 weeks.

We don’t have a way to show how many have been ordered, so price will be your notice.

HVR2 to Mega Was $239 Now $189

02 September 2010

Ralphs Club Renew Today!

Help SCGS by Shopping and Swiping at Ralphs or Food4Less

September 1 is the day that the Ralphs Community Contribution program starts its new year.  All of the participants in the program must re-enroll in order for SCGS to receive donations through this program.

This program is not limited to SCGS members.  Anyone in the Ralphs marketing territory can participate and help support the many programs of SCGS. It's painless and it costs nothing to join.

We have averaged about $1500 a year in donations through Ralphs; however, in recent years, that number has decreased due to the requirement that everyone enroll each year. We are asking everyone to sign up today, before you forget. Let's make some money with those those Labor Day picnic hot dogs and burgers!

Thanks to Cheri Mello, who sent along these easy-to-follow directions:

1.  Go to the Ralphs Community Contribution page.

2.  Scroll down to where it says PARTICIPANT and click on the reddish ENROLL button (even if you are renewing).

3.  LOG IN if you are renewing, or ENROLL if you are new. (You will need your Ralphs Club Card number if you are enrolling for the first time.)

4.  Once you are in, type SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GENEALOGICAL and do not abbreviate.

5.  You should see only that entry show up.  Click in the small round button.

6.  Scroll down and click SAVE CHANGES.

Don't shop at Ralphs?   You can also participate if you shop at Food4Less.

Thanks for your support!

01 September 2010

Bargain Alert: Immigration Files on Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com's Immigration and Naturalization Collection is free through September 6, 2010. Here's the link: http://www.ancestry.com/immigration

Included in the collection are passenger lists, immigration and naturalization records, border crossings and passports, and a new entry in the collection, New York City, Ellis Island Oral Histories, 1892-1976.

There is also a free immigration webinar tonight, September 1, at 8pm EDT. This is short notice; but check back, because Ancestry.com's webinars are typically archived for viewing later. Advance registration is required here.