Salt Lake Roundup: Final Thoughts

I'm back home and have caught up on my sleep -- because I had a 7:30 AM shuttle on Sunday, of course I didn't sleep one minute on Saturday night.  And now that my head has cleared a little, I can pull together a few thoughts on the Family History Library/RootsTech experience.

1.   It's a good thing I didn't invest in those snow boots I was looking at; the weather was unseasonably warm.  I think I put my jacket on once, when walking back from the Library.  Because a door to the Salt Palace was right next to the Radisson, I didn't really need it.

2.   Salt Lake City has some beautiful things to see -- the mountains all around, the beautiful Temple Square, a lovely, clean city.

 Credit to Ken Lund  on Flickr; Creative Commons license

3.   The Family History Library has a reputation for being difficult to use -- whole books have been written about how to get the most out of your visit.  But if you've done your preparation ahead of time, it's not hard at all.  Have a list of resources you want to find.  Know how to use the microfilm machines (give them a try at your local Family History Center ahead of time, if you can).  Everything is arranged logically, from the collections on different floors to the banks of microfilm storage.  And if you need help, there are plenty of people to help you. 

4.   Before I visited the Library, I heard online about folks being unhappy -- some microfilm readers had been removed, and people were worried that researchers would be shut out.  I can attest that at what I'm sure would be the height of Library use -- the day before RootsTech started -- the Library was very busy but there was enough room for all to work.

5.   All the preparation in the world isn't a guarantee that those brick walls will come tumbling down: I had five questions I wanted to work on; I found the answer to one.  I counted my time a success!

6.    What can I say about RootsTech?  The word I heard most often was "overwhelming."  This can be a mixed blessing -- on the one hand, it's an embarrassment of riches, but at the same time, it can make your head spin a bit.  Which of the six sessions I'm interested in should I go to?  Is half an hour long enough for me to run to the restroom (and then stand in line) and still get a seat at the next presentation?  Being able to have a copy of the syllabi of presentations you don't get to is a great bonus.

7.    Even if you go by yourself, you won't be alone.  Even if you're an introvert, you will be drawn out of your shell.  Genealogists are a friendly bunch, and they will start a conversation, ask where you're from, first time at RootsTech?, seen any good presentations, tried any good apps . . . on and on.  Trust me, you won't be alone.

8.   Be prepared to walk.  A lot.

9.   You'll go home with so many things to check out, try out, get into, read, watch, listen to -- you'll be busy for a long time to come.  Actually, probably until it's time to go to RootsTech 2016.

So, I'm home, with new friends, lots to think about, plenty to work on.  A good time was had by all, including me -- and here's to next year.


  1. It sounds like a wonderful trip! And, congrats on finding the one answer you did find! I hope I can attend next year. It sure looks exciting!


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