Category Archives: Program Planning

What Can You Learn from an Old Program Brochure? Gen Ed @ the Library

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Today I stumbled on an old program brochure from a series of genealogy lectures I organized at Regina Public Library a few years ago.Neither the series offerings nor the brochure text are perfect. Therefore they are a good place to start in thinking about a similar lecture series. As you read this, realize this is a lecture series, not a class. Consider the following questions:

  1. Do the lectures fit into a logical progression/?
  2. Is the redundant information useful or a distraction?
  3. Do the titles reflect content as described?
  4. Do the topics fit the series for beginners? for intermediate learners?
  5. Would you attend? Continue reading

Workshop Registration and Pre-workshop Learner Assessments


For a few days now i have been wanting to comment on these two issues, workshop registration and pre-workshop learner assessment. These are two tasks that are occuring somewhere on th continent as we speak. Local societies hosting events know just how hard smooth registrations are to attain. And speakers and teachers desperately need to learn more about how to get the pre-assessment info early enough to make meaningful adjustments to course/worshop content. There is help on the web for both of these tasks. Let’s look at these.

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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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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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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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Keeping Track of Your Research: Program Ideas

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As a genealogy librarian for over 20+ years, I faced almost daily the chaos of unprepared genealogists who neither knew what the wanted nor what they had! Many had no idea where they learned what they had! Out of this experience came a number of library sponsored programs on a variety of interconnected topcs. Let me tell you about some of these. Continue reading

Two-hour Workshop Idea

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Next year I resume my role as editor of The Hambook Herald, Journal of the Hambrook Family History Society. Today I was thinking of the task as I read an early issue by the outgoing editor. His deadline day fast approaching, Des had to write three articles himself from notes submitted by members. The editors lot is not a happy one. How can we get better articles?

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Program Planner’s Blues: Blue Sky Thinking

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In every genealogical society, genealogical library, local history society etc., there is some person upon whom the executive has dumped the responsibility to plan future programs, find speakers, arrange events. Often its the same person who complained last year about the third appearance of Joyce the scrap book lady.

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St. George Genealogy & Family Heritage Jamboree

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A few yeas ago at the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ Conference in Austin Texas I got to know a fireball genealogy entrepreneur in a barbecue joint. Holly Hansen is truly a dynamic and motivated business woman with a passion for genealogy. When folks were resurrecting Everton’s Genealogical Helper, Holly took on the editor’s job. Holly was doing well with her education and research tours to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, then turned her energiesfour years ago to creating a very economical genealogy trade fair in the winter resort of St. George, Utah. The following is an announcement from Hooly and her associates, the organizers of the St. George Genealogy & Family Heritage Jamboree:

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Promoting Your Products and Services on

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While I was in California helping the Hermit Poet pack his belongings, I wondered how he was going to sell his furniture. I watched him post an ad on to sell his leather sofa. What an adventure! Many of you know Craigslist as a Web site where you can sell furniture, buy equipment, find a job, even place a personal ad to get a date. It’s an online classified ad bonanza. But it was new to me. I was amazed. Within 2 hours there was a buyer. Before he turned up someone called and offer 20% more!

A few savvy speakers and workshop presenters have discovered that Craigslist also a great place to fill your seminar, promote your coaching services, sell your products, and boost your publicity. Do you want to learn more?

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