by Dawne

The Genealogy Center is anticipating this summer’s Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference that will be here in Fort Wayne the 21st through the 24th of August, with a special Librarians’ Day pre-conference event on the 20th of August. When FGS comes to town, The Genealogy Center always gets involved in a big way, from hosting some conference-related events – like Librarians’ Day – onsite, to offering extended hours for genealogists to do research early in the morning before attending sessions, and late into the night after the day’s lectures.

When Fort Wayne is the locality of the state or a national conference, The Genealogy Center’s staff usually gets directly involved, and not just during the days of the event, but in the earliest planning stages. This year, several Genealogy Center staff members are participating in the conference planning and execution.

Genealogy Center Manager Curt Witcher is on the FGS 2013 Conference Committee as the representative of the Allen County Public Library, one of the two local co-hosts organizations of the conference. The Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana is the other local co-host organization. Curt also will be delivering four lecture sessions and speaking at the Indiana Genealogical Society-sponsored luncheon. Curt’s topics are “SOS! Saving Our Societies & Thriving in the 21st Century,” “Your Society Wants You! Effective Recruiting Strategies for Genealogical Societies,” “Being the Outstanding Leader Your Society Needs,” “Digital Lincoln: Access to an Incomparable Collection of Abraham Lincoln Materials,” discussing the library’s Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, and “The Indiana Genealogical Society: A Case Study in Thriving,” at the IGS luncheon.

Genealogy Center Assistant Manager of Public Services Melissa Shimkus is serving on the 2013 Program Committee as co-chair from the local area. The Program Committee has put together a fantastic conference that is full of engaging, knowledgeable speakers on a wide variety of topics! You can read about the individual sessions at the conference website. In addition, Melissa is presenting three lectures, “Researching at The Genealogy Center,” “Researching Indiana Digital Collections Online” and “Why Should I Look at Revolutionary War Pension Records?” In addition to her other duties, Melissa will be coordinating ACPL staff who want to volunteer for various duties during the conference.

Delia Bourne, Genealogy Center librarian, is co-chair of Librarians’ Day. She is also presenting three lectures at the conference: “Beginning Kentucky Research at The Genealogy Center,” “Researching Your Confederate Ancestor at The Genealogy Center” and “Researching Your Union Ancestor at The Genealogy Center.”

Dawne Slater-Putt, Genealogy Center librarian, is National Conference Co-Chair, and Aaron Smith, Genealogy Center Assistant Manager of the Materials Handling Unit, is co-chair of the Audio-Visual Committee. Kay Spears, Genealogy Center Department Assistant and graphic artist, designed the conference logo and other publicity pieces for the event. During the week of the conference, all of The Genealogy Center staff will be on hand to help visitors to The Center, and don’t be surprised to see some familiar smiling faces from elsewhere in the ACPL system pitching in as well.