Monday, January 25, 2010

Part 5 of The Genealogy Reference Desk Institute

To get to the beginning of this series, go here:-)

Laura Prescott, APG President, spoke on Timelines: Placing Your Heritage in Historical Perspective.  I had not realized the importance in using timelines for your research and plan on using them in the future much more often.

By using timelines, you can see important events that happened in your ancestors lives, which may have influenced their decisions and movements.  You can also use them to migration and settlement patterns, look at military and career paths and track your ancestors through the census, among other things.

Many genealogy programs have timeline options, but there are multiple other places to create them.  The most interesting one is Google Maps.  I have often used this for directions, but was unaware of their My Maps feature.  By adding addresses, you can create a timeline of your ancestors movements, homes or cemetery cites.  You can even add photos, videos or text and then embed the map into a blog post or email it to others.

After Laura, Drew Smith, librarian, author and half of the Genealogy Guys was the last speaker of the day.  His presentation, Using Web 2.0 Tools with a 101 Knowledge Base, was an explanation of using Web 2.0 tools in the library.  I have been reading his book, Social Networking for Genealogists and recommend checking that out for a more thorough explanation of his program than I can give.

It was amazing to hear a presentation by someone who's podcast I listen to on a regular basis.  Using Web 2.0 tools to educate patrons, as well as to provide access to resources and services, is something I have become very interested in for school and future employment situations.  This workshop was a basic overview of these topics for librarians who have been out of school for awhile and need to learn the basics of Web 2.0.

This was a wonderful workshop and I am looking forward to continuing my education in this matter.  Workshops are held four times a year, before the two ALA conferences, before the NGS conference and before the FGS conference.  If you ever have the option to attend, I recommend it highly.

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