Saturday, July 10, 2010

San Diego Area Genealogical Society News

I just returned from the monthly San Diego Genealogical Society meeting where these announcements were made:

* Some of the book collection of the South Orange County, California Genealogical Society (SOCCGS) at the public library in Mission Viejo, California will be transferred to the San Diego Genealogical Society Library. The Mission Viejo library needed the space.

* The book and periodical collection of the now-defunct British Isles Genealogical Research Association (BIGRA) in San Diego will be transferred from the San Diego Family History Center in Mission Valley to the San Diego Genealogical Society Library.

* There is a proposal to combine the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) with the San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) effective 1 January 2011. The CGSSD board and membership need to approve the combination. One of the major problems for CGSSD after 1 August 2010 will be the parking fees at the University of California San Diego. Heretofore, Saturday parking on-campus has been free; effective 1 August, the parking fees go up to $9 per car, which is really untenable.

* SDGS has created a committee to search for a larger and more technological venue for the monthly meetings. The current venue has limited seating (about 150) and some classrooms, but does not have Wireless Internet. This becomes more important if the CGSSD and SDGS merger goes through, growing SDGS from about 450 members to about 600 members.

* The SDGS Seminar on Saturday, 9 October will feature speakers from the National Archives branch in Perris CA and form on "What's Hiding in the National Archives - Learn How to Find It!" That sounds like a great marriage of classical resources and online resources.

My opinion is that the parking problem at UCSD is a crippling blow to CGSSD, unless they can find another venue that has sufficient web-enabled space for the monthly meeting. The UCSD venue is outstanding - free parking and free use of the lecture halls, all with wireless Internet and ceiling-mounted LCD projectors. A replacement free venue will be difficult to find.

My opinion is that merging the two societies can be a positive thing. It will bring a significant number of new members to SDGS, including many younger members. However, there is the possibility that those of us that are members of both societies will have our educational options reduced. Let me explain (and I did to Marna Clemons, SDGS President, and Del Ritchhart, CGSSD President, today):

CGSSD has had 2.5 hours of programming each month on the third Saturday of each month. This is usually an hour-long user group or class, and an hour-long speaker presentation. SDGS has had 4.0 hours of programming each month on the second Saturday of each month. This is a 1.5 hour class or user group meeting, and two hour-long speaker presentations (either two different speakers, or one speaker on one or more topics). Both societies have short business meetings each month. A member of both societies can have 6.5 hours of education and networking each month, and receives two newsletters (the SDGS newsletter is a monthly 8 pages, the CGSSD newsletter is a 24 page quarterly). There is some overlap in the software user groups also. If the combined society keeps only the SDGS schedule, then there will be only 4.0 hours each month.

The ideal situation might be to have two program meetings each month - but that might incur additional costs for the society program venue and speaker honorariums. The SDGS Library might be able to be used for more special interest classes and user groups. They already have classes every Wednesday on different topics.

On the other hand, the membership cost to a member of both societies would be reduced.

We will have to see what shakes out of the CGSSD and SDGS merger. I have a lot of admiration and confidence in the leadership of both societies.

1 comment:

Susi's Quarter said...

Something we discussed the other day appears to be a real situation. I wonder if offered a set fee for parking they would reduce the fee down to like $5. per car.
Or check other college venues. Maybe offer them something of same nature. IF not getting funds now maybe a nominal fee paid for parking could get the group in the door.

Large church venues and there are some really large ones running around.