Monday, January 20, 2014

What Shall I Take with Me to RootsTech and the FHL?

I'm pretty excited about my upcoming first-trip-ever to Salt Lake City for RootsTech and the opportunity to do some research at the Family History Library! I've been reading other conference alumni's posts, and reviewing my conclusions about Jamboree 2010. Here are some of the things I've done to prepare for the conference and research:

1) I've been reviewing all the research I've done on two of my brickwall ancestors, Jeremiah Franklin YORK and Berber J. DeJONG. Using my Repository Checklist, I'm building a list of books and films I want to peruse while I'm at the library. I've read some books on using the Family History Library, too.

2) I'm taking stock of my technology, such as it is. I don't have the latest and greatest, and that's OK. I've learned with my limited budget that having the newest toy isn't necessary to do good research or have fun. Most importantly, it does not limit me from learning about the newest gadgets. I'm planning on taking a class on using iPads in genealogy, for instance, even though I don't own a tablet. I do have access to one in my classroom, so I'm somewhat familiar with that device. I just haven't felt the necessity of owning one yet. The technology I'm traveling with is a four-year-old Asus Eee netboook with Windows XP (yes, I know support for XP is going away) with Microsoft Office 2010, a Chrome browser, Evernote, Dropbox, and RootsMagic 6, among other programs and apps. I have an LG 800GHL Tracfone with limited apps (Facebook, Google Maps, and a mobile browser). I'll be bringing my chargers and netbook lock and a couple of flash drives. Finally, I have a Canon Powershot A550 digital camera. The camera on my phone is very poor quality, so I continue to use a digital camera, which works great, except for being a battery-eater. For that reason, I'm stocking up on batteries.

3. I registered for RootsTech on the first day registration was available, and signed up for a couple extra classes. Recently, I accessed the web app for my schedule and selected all the classes I want to take, as well as listed a couple extra "interests" in case those classes fill up before I can claim a seat. I tried for diversity in classes as well as speakers. There are some big name speakers I'd love to hear, some fellow geneablogging friends I've never heard present, and classes I'll take because of the interests I have or the challenges I'd like to try, even though I've not heard of some of the speakers.

4. I allowed myself some down time. I didn't see as many sessions on Saturday that I would like to attend. I may decide to sleep in and hit the library for one more research session that day.

5. I'm traveling light. I don't need to bring a heavy coat or boots, because a) I'll be staying at the Plaza not far from the conference venue and the library; and b) I'm an Inland Northwest girl; I know what cold and snow are like!

6. I'm frugal. I'll be packing instant oatmeal and snack items to save on my meals.

7. I'll be rooming with some genealogy friends who have had experience both in leading research groups at the library and have attended previous RootTech conferences. They will be excellent guides and advisers.

8. I hope to have fun! I'd love to meet up with other researchers and bloggers, and if I have time, see some of the sights in Salt Lake City! And I'm ordering some more business cards to hand out.

So that being said, do you have any advice for me? I'm especially looking for those who have been to RootsTech and/or the Family History Library in the past. What do you recommend?

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