Monday, December 4, 2006

Do You Know What You're Missing?

Leland and DonnaI'm in Salt Lake City this week participating in the Leland Meitzler [pictured right with Donna Potter Phillips] Annual Christmas Tour. I've never been on a research tour before, but have visited the LDS Family History Library many times. Now I get it. Accomplishing in one week that would otherwise take months, (as the MasterCard commercials say) priceless.

This morning kicked off with a session by George Ott who essentially in one hour unlocked all of the mysteries of finding information in The Library. We all know how to use a library right? Well, approaching this library the same way you would your local library will work, but just much, much more slowly.

Then you have the team of professionals coaches at your disposal -- each having a specialty to ensure that you have a resource regardless of the geographic regions that you are most challenged by. The researchers hang out in The Library all week, and all you have to do is stop by, signup for a time slot, and you've got a free appointment. Signup with a research each day of the week and think about how much help your going to get and how much money that would have cost if you had to hire them yourself.

They are really "coaches". They don't tell you "oh, go look that up in the ...". They give you the play by play , "Go to this floor, check this reference book, find the FHL reel and find the document. And then come back tomorrow and we'll talk about the next step." It's really like having a coach on the sidelines helping you get to the goal line.

Most of the coaches also teach classes on various topics throughout the week. Pick the topics you would like a little guidance on. Learn tips and tricks for researching that particular topic in The Library.

Now I'm starting to see the value of spending a week in Salt lake City on the Christmas Tour, and not all tours offer this level of service. Have you ever been on a genealogy tour? Was it anything like this?

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