Monthly Archives: August 2006

Can your program evaluation form be a marketing tool?


I came across this idea on SpeakerNet News the other day. The suggestion was to put a question like, “I’d like to learn more about ______.” That seems like a pretty simple idea.

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National Institute for Genealogical Studies West Coast Road Show


My friend, Louise St.Denis, Managing Director of the National Institute claims she’s having a vacation on the west coast of British Columbia. Utter Hogwash. Consider her schedule and you tell me if Louise is on vacation. Continue reading

Physical Frailties and the Idea of Hiring an Apprentice/Intern

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My current health problems have interfered with my manual dexterity. So I am considering hiring and training hands and brain. An apprentice would need almost constant supervision according to one friend. I realize that. Another wondered what I’d pay. So i mentioned it to a local genealogist. She said she’d jump at the chance to work as my apprentice for free. The response surprised me! We’ll discuss this later. But in the meantime, what do you see as being my tasks in trainig and apprentice? What do you pay an apprentice? Are there apprentice tasks I should expect him to doon his time?

What do you think?

Transcribing and Abstracting Documents

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One of my greaat pleasures in working for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies is the consultations i have with students. My students in Analysis and Skills Mentoring 2 and 3 struggle through transcription and abstracting assignments. Some I am sure will never tackle such tasks again, and neverrise to the great potential they have as genealogists of professional quality. These skills are critical for advanced research.

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Semantic Spin: Just What the Doc Ordered?

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I heard someone say the other day that here is a lot of bad PowerPoint presentations out there. Apparently many of these boring, uncreative slide shows, like some of mine, have put audiences to sleep. Others are poorly created: wrong sized fonts, trite templates, poor color choices etc. again a few of mine were like that before I came to my senses. The problem is so common, my informant suggested, that many people turn off when they hear the term PowerPoint. They
just don’t want to sit through another one. Continue reading

The Hermit Poet Makes a House Call.


We are fortunate to have The Hermit Poet (THP) home for the weekend to work on some details of a new website. My team of furniture assembly experts worked till 2:00AM the other night installing my office just to be ready. THP arrived Friday morning and went right to wrrking setting up the new computer (iots smart enough to walk AND chew gum at the same time. Yesterday afternoon and today THP has been doing his web design stuff. Premature to show you, but its way better than my crude efforts. You can look at one of his recent efforts at

Podcast from a Major Archives: An Interesting Educational Idea


A recent media release from The National Archives (UK) makes me wonder if other archives or libraries are exploring the idea of educating their clients using podcasts. It seems efficient: A lecture by a subject specialist is recorded and made accessible through the website WHEN THE CLIENT NEEDS IT. I expect that major genealogy collections will include podcast lectures teaching clients what is in the collection and how to access and use it. Interested in this example? Read on.

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