19 February 2010

Julie Miller, CPE (Conference Planner Extraordinare)

Kudos to our own Julie Miller, who, as National Conference Chair for the 2010 NGS Family History Conference has put together a fresh, internationally-focussed compilation of lectures over four days that will set your genealogical course for the next many months of research.

The NGS conference takes place April 28-May 1 in Salt Lake City. Only a few times over the span of several years do we Westerners get a chance to be within driving distance of a national conference. And folks, this is Salt Lake City! And, at the risk of reciting a lame cliche, “I hear there’s a pretty good library there.”

The only bad news is, the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, located next door to the Library, is already full up (no surprise there). The Radisson is the central conference hotel.

The conference will be held in the Salt Palace Convention Center, in the back side, located a short distance from the hotel, only a few steps from your room! If you’ve been to conferences in the past in Salt Lake City, you know we’ve had to walk clear down the block and around the corner and walk another loooong block to the entrance to the Salt Palace, but this year, it’s a much shorter walk.

The Family History Library has extended its research hours until 11PM, with shuttle buses offering rides from the Library back to three of the designated conference hotels (Radisson, Shiloh, and Crystal Inn), all the more reason to stay at one of these hotels. This eliminates walking late at night, although I’ve never been worried about unsavory characters on the streets of the Mormon City.

There is lots of information about the conference, including the conference program at www.ngsgenealogy.org, at Conferences and Events.

So get a carpool together, update your genealogy database, grab your credit card to load up your FHL research card for making copies and CDs, and register for the conference. In case I didn’t mention it, it’s within driving distance!

Or, do the Duff Method of travel: take the train. Amtrak leaves Denver early in the morning, clickety-clacks through the scenic mountains of Colorado and plains of Utah, arriving in Salt Lake City in time to make it to the hotel for a good night’s sleep. And then, on the way back home, you can spend all your time entering your new data into your genealogy program. Or, more to my liking, catching up on your sleep.

Either way, it’s a good year to be a Westerner.

24 September 2009

Corinne Knasinski, RPAC Colorado Liaison

Corinne Knasinski, Colorado State Liaison to RPAC

Corinne Knasinski has been appointed to the position of Colorado state liaison to the Records and Preservation Access Committee (RPAC).

The RPAC is a joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and the National Genealogical Society (NGS) which depends upon the state liaisons across the United States to notify them and the genealogical community when state legislation threatens to close public records.

RPAC has drafted and published a position paper which describes recommendations to genealogical societies and individuals on effective courses of action on legislative matters. You may read more about RPAC at http://www.fgs.org/rpac/index.php and http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/the_records_preservation_access_committee.

Corinne’s role will be to monitor Colorado legislation as it’s introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate that affects open access or closure of public records important to genealogists. As an example of the effectiveness of coordinated effort, a few years ago the legislature was considering a bill to close the public records of Colorado marriages. Several members of the leadership within Colorado genealogical organizations quickly organized an email movement, and testified before a hearing committee in opposition to the closing of the records. As a result of the genealogists’ hue and cry, the bill was modified. With thousands of genealogists in Colorado, and the many organized societies within the state, the organized voice of the Colorado genealogists can be an effective method of conveying our ideas, opinions and experience to members of the legislature in effecting bills which serve the public good while maintaining open access.

Corinne has served on the board of the Colorado Genealogical Society, and is a member of the National Genealogical Society as well as the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Corinne says, “I’m excited to serve in this role because, as a genealogist under the age of 40, I’m worried my peers won’t have any records to search in the future. I’ve had the chance to participate in the political process before, but never with something so near and dear to me. I’m honored to serve in the role.”

Corinne lives in Parker with her husband and their family dog. She is employed fulltime as a meeting and conference planner for the Financial Planning Association. Her other hobbies include volleyball, photography, and golf. She’s embracing a whole new group of genealogical research possibilities. “We married just two years ago, so I gained a whole new family I haven’t yet had time to research.”

We welcome Corinne’s enthusiasm and willingness to take on this important task. Please make a personal pledge to support her efforts in monitoring legislative activities and support your genealogical community’s activist endeavors.

11 July 2008

Open Public Records Brochure released

A new brochure ” The Case for Open Public Records” was released yesterday by the The Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC). RPAC is a joint advisory committee of the National Genealogical Society, Federation of Genealogical Societies, Association of Professional Genealogists, Board for Certification of Genealogists, and the International Assocation of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

The new tri-fold brochure addresses the facts, pros, and myths for keeping public records open. It also gives guidelines for the access that we need.

The Committee has posted the brochure on the RPAC Web site and has given permission for local genealogical societies to reproduce it. Copies can also be ordered for 12 cents each plus shipping by contacting Jan Alpert at janalpert@aol.com.

The brochure follows the release of the “The Case for Open Records: A Position Paper” earlier this year by the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Open records has become a major issue for genealogists. Please take the time to educate yourself on the issue and share that information with friends, family, and your legislators.

4 June 2006

Possible Library Closing May Endanger Genealogy Collection

The following was submitted to COGenBlog by Georgia Neilsen, Library Assistant and Coordinator at the Perl Mack Library (303/428-3576).

The Perl Mack Library, part of the Rangeview Library District, located at 7611 Hilltop Circle has a genealogy collection of 450 books for the public at their branch. Some of the books are how-to’s but there are some rare books that most smaller libraries outside of Denver Public Library may not own & offer to the public. That collection is now in danger. The Rangeview Library District Board will meet at the Thornton Library located at 8992 N. Washington June 12, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. concerning the closure of this library branch due to funding issues. The closure of this branch puts the collection at risk. The Perl Mack Genealogy Group has been an active group of 30 members who have been meeting at this branch since 2002 & have contributed 70 of the books that are part of the collection.

This information is to inform the genealogy community of another threat to research in the north metro area. All comments should be directed to the Rangeview Library Director & Board members. Go to the website: www.rangeviewld.org for information.

4 May 2006

HB 1357 signed by Governor Owens

On 24 March 2006 and 31 March 2006 , we reported on Colorado House Bill 1357 (HB 1357). Governor Owens signed the amended bill on 24 April 2006. As amended, the law will close marriage applications that are less than 50 years old to all but immediate family members. Applications that are older than 50 years will remain open records that can be inspected by the public.