Monthly Archives: August 2012

Our Genealogy Program Conference Call On August 14, 2012 Turned Out Excellent!; Big Thanks To Mike Karsen And Our Library Staff That Made It Possible!

Hi Everyone!

Last Tuesday night was our monthly Genealogy Program at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

Our guest speaker for the evening was Mike Karsen who was going to present his program titled “Liven Up Your Family History with Images”.

When I arrived in the late afternoon to get things going for the evening presentation, I discovered that Mike had been trying to reach me via e-mail and phone to let me know that he was under the weather and would not be able to be present to do his presentation.  He did offer to try to make his presentation remotely via conference call.

Never having done that before,  I fell into a “state of panic”.  How could we make that happen in as short of time as we had.  Could we make it happen so that our audience would have as good an experience as if the speaker were actually here?

A call to our Information Technology (IT) group and a call to our Audio Visual (AV) group initially made me very confident that we would actually be able to set the room up with a speaker phone in conjunction with a microphone by the speakerphone that would allow us to contact Mike on the phone for him to do his thing remotely!

My biggest concern was the possibility of “bad audio feedback” noise coming through with the microphone so close to the speakerphone.  A little experiment here, a little trial there and I thought that by about 6:45 PM we could actually make this work for the scheduled 7:30 PM program.

To make a long story short the event came off incredibly well!  Our 45 person audience was rooting and cheering that this would work.  And lo and behold it did work!

The speakerphone sound was set up perfectly next to the nice professional microphone our AV person used for this “experiment”.  Our internal audio system picked up the sound perfectly so that everyone in the room could easily hear Mike via the speakerphone.  Our IT person found all the right “port” connections needed to allow us to use the phone in the large meeting room.

I was Mike’s right-hand person being the one flipping through his PDF provided file of the 82 images he used during his presentation.  I asked Mike to note what slide number he was on as he moved through them so that I was in synch with his images he was using at home.  Only a couple of times did I get out of synch but was able to recover quickly without really missing a beat.

We asked our audience to hold the questions until the end.  I mentioned to the attendees that if they had a question and could easily make it up to the front to ask, then they could do that by the speakerphone.  If someone was too far away or had to crawl over others in the row of seating, then I asked them to state the question and I would repeat it to Mike over the speakerphone.

Questions were asked and answered and everyone was able to hear the conversations from both within the room and via the phone.

WOW!  Was I relieved that this worked out well for both the off-site speaker and for our audience.

Many attendees indicated they thought the program was executed incredibly well even if Mike was not actually present in the room.  Our audience was happy and felt they really received great genealogy information in a completely unplanned and unexpected manner!  Smiles were present throughout the room!

I now can see that we can accomplish this kind of program using our internal setups.  Because I have now successfully seen this work I now have to really keep an open mind to take a further step to possibly have an actual Webinar Genealogy Program that would utilize similar technology that would also include the ability to have a video feed to see our speaker.

See what a crisis handled successfully turns me into!

Webinars in the future!! Maybe.

Lions, and tigers and bears!  Oh My!

I want to again say a big “Thank You” to our speaker, Mike Karsen, and to our internal library staff in Information Technology and Audio Visual for making this short-notice challenge come off very successfully.

Had this not worked our poor audience would have had to endure the evening with me giving some kind of “song and dance” genealogy routine!  Oh well, at least for this most recent occasion I was able to put the top hat, cane and dancing shoes on the back-burner.

But they are on the shelf waiting for me to use again if needed!

Lions and tigers and bears!  Oh My!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Mike Karsen Our Guest Speaker For Our Program Tonight Will NOT Be Able To Be Here Due To An Illness; We Are Thinking Of A Conference Call Workaround For Him To Deliver His Program Via A Speakerphone; I Am Not Sure That This Will Work Successfully!

Hi Everyone!

I just want to let you know that our guest speaker for tonight’s genealogy program, will NOT be able to make it to the program due to an illness.

He has indicated that perhaps we can still do the program via a Conference Call on his end to our library and for me to present the slides of his presentation while he speaks on the phone.

I do not know if this will work or if we will be able to successfully set the room up for it to work.  I am also concerned about the speakerphone volume being sufficient by itself to work because I do not think I can put the microphone by the speakerphone without getting loud feedback.

But I will give it a try on my end.  If it does not work because of whatever unknown problems arise, then I will have to the end the program and we will make the best of our time.

I do want you to know in advance that Mike will not be here and our alternative attempt to make this work may not work.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Program
Schaumburg Township District Library

New Poll On Right Sidebar Of The Blog; Simple Question Being Posed; “Do You Have A Personal Paid Subscription To Ancestry.com?”; “Yes” Or “No”?

Hi Everyone!

Well, here goes another Poll that is now on the right sidebar of the blog right at the top of the blog homepage.

This time I am just asking for a simple response to a very basic question.

“Do You Have A Personal Paid Subscription To Ancestry.com?”  Yes or No

Simple, direct and to the point.

Ancestry.com is one of the leaders as being a paid, subscribable site.  There is a “free” alternative from within Ancestry.com and that is the Library Edition of the product that libraries pay for but users can use “free of charge” by visiting local libraries that offer the product.  Although the product is “free” to the end-user to use in the library, it cannot be accessed from home by library cardholders of that library.  So researching requires you to actually go to your library having the product and use it on-site.  Sometimes that is a big inconvenience when the research bug hits you at 6 AM or 11 PM!

Take a look at the new Poll.  Consider providing a reply.

Do You Have A Personal Paid Subscription To Ancestry.com? Yes or No

Let’s see how active this poll can be.

The more the merrier!

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Time For A New Poll; Current Poll On If You Have A Facebook Account Has Run Its Course! – Results Included

Hi Everyone!

I have been looking at the results of the current poll that exists on the blog that has been up there since about June 20, 2012.  I think it is time to end that poll and replace it with a new one.

To date I have received about 59 responses on the poll over about a 7 week appearance on the blog.  That has been a pretty good turnout of responses to a basic question on whether you have an account with Facebook.

Here is what you have said as to whether you have an account with Facebook:

Of the total of 59 respondents, 38 of you have indicated that “Yes” (64.41%) you do have an account with Facebook and 21 of you have indicated “No” (35.59%) that you do not have an account with Facebook.

My own “anecdotal” opinion indicates to me that there are a good number, roughly one-third of you that do genealogy research that do not have a Facebook account.  Sometimes we think that with Facebook being the “in” thing that  80% or 90% of you might have Facebook accounts with few researchers not having an account.  One-third is a pretty high percentage that do not have a Facebook presence with an account!

There can be some good advantages in research to having an account.  You can  place yourself out there in the “ethernet” with the idea that your research will be advanced by “relatives” and “descendants” discovering you on Facebook that you were unaware of.  Once discovered, you can collaborate your research and obtain more information after that than you had before.

I certainly welcome poll suggestions about genealogy from readers of this blog.  Leave a comment on a blog post or use the “Contact” form from the Pages at the top of the blog home page.

Thanks to those that did participate and expressed their views on the most recent poll on having a Facebook account.

Keep watching.  Some new poll will appear soon.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

August 2012 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts Uploaded As A PDF for August 14, 2012 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the August 2012 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts as a PDF file into the PROGRAM HANDOUTS Category on the right sidebar of the blog.

Here is a direct link to the August 2012 Handouts for your convenience:

August 2012 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Program Handouts

Take a look at it if you choose to browse through it in advance of our Genealogy Program that will take place on Tuesday evening, August 14, 2012 at 7:30 PM at our main library location at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.

You can read the handouts online or you can save them as a PDF file to your own computer for reading offline and more detailed searching through all of the contents.

You will also note that I have started “highlighting” in this uploaded PDF key points within the handout  by using  the “yellow highlighting” function within Microsoft Word.  This will allow your eyes to visually see key points within the handouts that I want to emphasize.  I hope you will enjoy being able to more easily see these key points within the set of handouts through this highlighting technique.  I plan on highlighting within the Handout file on a going forward basis.

Please note that the Handouts PDF file has embedded Bookmarks to allow you to move to the handouts of interest to you quickly without having to scroll through the entire document.  Just open the Bookmark window in the PDF file and select the handout of interest for quick access.

You can also get to the handouts of interest to you quickly via the Table of Contents at the beginning of the document.  You will find hyperlinks that will get you directly to the handout of interest to you from the Table of Contents.

Please note that you can access directly any and all URL Links that you find within the Handouts PDF.  You can get directly to the website being mentioned from within the handout being mentioned.

Enjoy the handouts.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

August 2012 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter Uploaded As A PDF for August 14, 2012 Genealogy Program

Hi Everyone!

I have added the August 2012 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter as a PDF file into the NEWSLETTER Category on the right sidebar of the blog.

Here is a direct link to the August 2012 Newsletter for your convenience:

August 2012 Schaumburg Township District Library Genealogy Newsletter

Take a look at it if you choose to browse through it in advance of our Genealogy Program that will take place on Tuesday evening, August 14, 2012 at 7:30 PM at our main library location at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.

You can read the newsletter online or you can save it as a PDF file to your own computer for reading offline and more detailed searching through all of the contents.

Please note that the Newsletter has Bookmarks and Hyperlinks within the document to make for fast navigation from within the Table of Contents.  You can quickly get to the spots that interest you from the Table of Contents.

Enjoy the newsletter.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

Reminder: Our Next Genealogy Program at STDL Is Tomorrow August 14, 2012

Hi Everyone!

It is that time once again when we will be having another Genealogy Program at the central location of the Schaumburg Township District Library on Tuesday evening, August 14, 2012 at 7:30 PM.  We are located at 130 S. Roselle Road in Schaumburg, IL.

There is no pre-registration required in order to attend the program.  There is no fee charged to attend.  Anyone can attend this program.  You do not have to be a library card holder with the Schaumburg Township District Library in order to attend.

Here is a summary of the information about the program:

Mike Karsen

The Genealogy program will be held on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 7:30 PM in the 2nd floor Classroom. The guest speaker for the evening will be Mike Karsen. Mike will present a program titled “Liven Up Your Family History with Images”.

A professional speaker, Mike Karsen is a member of the Association of  Professional Genealogists (APG), the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), and is currently President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. He speaks on family legacy topics locally and nationally, presents conference programs and has presented at Newberry Library and Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago. Mike is the author of the JewishGen website “Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Chicagoland” and has published articles on genealogy.

He holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics/computer science and a master’s in operations research alongside 30 years in telecommunications management.

The doors to the room will open at approximately 7 PM so participants can pick up any handouts, review books and journals and interact with other participants. Tony Kierna, the STDL genealogist, will start the program at 7:30. Introductions of new participants will occur as well as a brief review of handouts and genealogical matters. It is expected that the guest speaker’s presentation will start at around 7:45-8:00 PM. We will end the session by 9:30 PM.

For further information contact Tony Kierna at 847-923-3390.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library