Getting Ready for Ft. Wayne and FGS

My favorite genealogical conference of the year is fast approaching. The Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, or FGS, is in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, on August 21-24. I attend a number of conferences each year, some focus on genealogy and some are for my day job. But by far FGS is the most enjoyable to me because the focus is on the librarians, the archivists, and the societies that are the foundation of genealogy. These hard-working and underfunded workers and volunteers are the protectors of data and records that we crave. And societies do the work at the local level to keep information available for all of us.

Individual researchers and those curious about genealogy will find a variety of topics of interest. There are lectures and workshops for all areas and all levels of experience. In addition, the Allen County Public Library is one of the best collection of books, periodicals, city directories, and family history books in the country.

Spend as much time as you can in the stacks of the library. Prepare ahead of time to make the most of your visit. Explore the website and familiarize yourself with their resources. Typically, the library offers a tour for those who have never been to ACPL. The tour is well worth the time.

You may use computers and scanners in the Genealogy Center of the Library. Bring a lock to attach your laptop to the desk in order to roam through the stacks. No need to bring coins for the copier. The machines use a swipe card system where you preload money to pay for your copies. There is plenty of room (and multiple outlets) to bring your electronic gear with you.

Even if you have never attended a genealogical conference, take the opportunity to learn, to spend time with like-minded people, and get invigorated and more productive in your research. Whether you have one day or four, come to the FGS conference in Ft Wayne, Indiana. The program of speakers and luncheons is a great mix of society interests, individual learning, and technology courses.