Scout camp is over and the children are back in school. July was a busy month. It is already mid-August and I haven’t yet posted the July happenings for the ProGen Study Group. For any newcomers, here is a link back to last month’s post: ProGen Study Group #3.
We only had one chapter to read for the month:
- Chapter 9 – Structuring a Business by Melinda Shackleford Kashuba, Ph.D.
This is definately one of the chapters in the book geared toward professional as in business as oppossed to other chapters that focus on expertise and skill:
“Many genealogists run their businesses with minimal planning or documentation, and they wonder why opportunities seem to elude them.”
As you might expect, this chapter includes many questions to be used as a self assessment:
- Why you want to start a business?
- Do you have the skills?
- Are we entrepreneurs at heart?
The following topics are included:
- Mission statement
- Business plan
- Legal structures – sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation (C, S, LLC)
- Local, state, and federal regulations (licenses, zoning, taxes, permits)
- Resources – time, people, and money
Overall the chapter does a good job of introducing the basics of business and how it relates to the professional genealogist.
As June comes to a close, we finish the third month of the ProGen Study Group. Our assigned chapters from Professional Genealogy were:
- Chapter 4 – The Essential Library by Joy Reisinger, CG
- Chapter 7 – Copyright and Fair Use by Val D. Greenwood, J.D., AG
Chapter 4 begins with the phrase: “A personal library is an essential tool of every professional. As genealogists, we use the written word on a daily basis for information about unfamiliar locales and repositories, as well as for source material.”
The chapter then proceeds to break down the selection criteria for our library into three goal areas: education, efficiency, and reliability. As we then proceed to stock our library, we can do it in stages starting with a basic shelf, adding more essential materials, and finally topping it off with useful, but discretionary items. We should also have a balance of three categories of media: instructional works, general references, and source materials. Like the public and academic libraries of today, our libraries will be a mix of books, magazines, journals, maps, and digital media. This chapter helps us plan our personal library so we can then purchase our items as time and budget allows.
May was the second month for the ProGen Study Group. You can read about April’s report at ProGen Study Group #1.
This month we continued our study of Professional Genealogy by reading the following:
- Chapter 2 – Educational Preparation by Claire Mire Bettag, CGRS
- Chapter 8 – Alternative Careers by Elizabeth Kelly Kerstens, CGRS
Chapter 2 provided details on academic degrees or credit programs in genealogy. For example, BYU offers a BA in Family History – Genealogy as well as a Family History Certificate. Another certificate program is the Home Study Course provided by the National Genealogical Society. This chapter also talks about major conferences such as NGS, FGS, and those held at BYU. There are also numerous self-study options discussed. If I were to list all the educational opportunities, it would take pages. One newer series of conferences that is not mentioned in the chapter are those provided by My Ancestors Found. The chapter included mostly US programs but did mention some international ones.
Particularly helpful are pages 19-21 that provides questions in the areas of presenters, programs, sponsors, and other concerns that can be used to evaluate educational opportunities to determine which are right for you.
On May 7th, I met with 5 other genealogists to discuss the book, Professional Genealogy: a Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. I am part of a study group that each month reads chapters from this book in preparation for an online discussion via instant messaging (IM) software. The discussion lasted for an hour and a half as we answered prepared questions for the two chapters that we read.