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From: <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Genealogical Education (was Professionand "Consumer Protection")
Date: Fri, 8 May 2009 20:48:11 -0500
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I wrote:
> We're all open for suggestions.

Kathy L. wrote:
>Larry already suggested some. There are all those archivists and librarians
out there who have no training for dealing with their
genealogy patrons...
>I think all Larry and I are suggesting is to step outside the rut and try
to see things from some other perspectives.

Kathy, our experiences have definitely led us to different viewpoints. I
wish I had time to debate them all tonight, but I have about a week of prep
left before I leave for Raleigh two days from now.

Until I return, let me just say that the "rut" you perceive has an amazing
number of grooves that go wide and deep and long. The things you've
suggested thus far have indeed been tried. I (and others) have labored for
years for headway among those "archivists and librarians out there," who in
your description, "have no training for dealing with their genealogy
patrons." I've criss-crossed the country at my own expense to carry our
message and our offers into their conferences--theirs and those of various
other fields. I've served (without compensation) on dissertation committees
for librarians and archivists studying what their fields need to better
serve genealogists (including one who apologetically pointed out that
his/her library school wouldn't want me actually "signing" the final
dissertation, given that I was a genealogist without a Ph.D.). I've worked
with "new college" programs to develop and administer for-credit,
non-traditional "learning contracts" through which adult students can create
their own degree programs at traditional universities--specifically a degree
in genealogy aka family history or whatever the students cared to call it.
And I've lined up donors to actually fund a university chair in genealogy,
only to see the idea die when "established departments" realized that the
genealogical community actually expected the courses to be taught by
experienced genealogists. :)

Still, one never knows when one new idea--coupled with the right person to
push it--can launch a whole new movement. Keep those ideas coming!


Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
APG member, Tennessee

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