Friday, December 30, 2011

My year in review - 2011

Happy New Year to you all!

Those of you valiant people who are still subscribing to Hunting Ancestors, will no doubt fall off your chairs "My goodness, Genebrarian has posted a blog!" No doubt, you've probably forgotten that you even subscribe, since you've not had a feed to your Google Reader (or however you choose to subscribe).

I've not blogged here since March. I have three blogs in draft format unfinished.

I had to abandon the 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History blogging challenge after only eight weeks.

I also had to abandon the Daily Image 2011 that I'd joined up for on Flickr. This was a group of mainly librarians, who were posting a photo/drawing/video with themselves in it somewhere, every day (a photo blog).

I enjoy blogging. I do.  I just kept running out of time to do so. My work blog Kintalk suffered too, with me posting minimally to it in the last year. My colleagues often helping me out when the gaps between blogs got too big.

I (only) managed to complete one of the tertiary papers I signed up to do this year, but had to defer the other; which means a delay in completing my Diploma in Records Management.

This year has been somewhat fraught. Family-work-study juggling act has resulted in too many balls in the air at the same time. 

On the personal front, my husband was hospitalised twice, mother twice, father once. Fortunately, all three seem ok now (touch wood), although they all had me terribly worried for a while.

On the positive side: I ran a couple of successful blog challenges in 2011. One of them focussed on Waitangi Day, through this blog. The other a trans-Tasman ANZAC-Day focused challenge with our Australian friends, in partnership with Shelley of TwigsofYore. Wrap up of this blog challenge can be read here.

I rolled out a training programme to approximately 200 staff in the new 55 libraries group, during July and September, which meant a raised awareness of family history resources within the library group (specifically my Research Centre) and also hands-on experience of how to use our Family History eResources and databases.

As well as my regular chatty updates in the New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG) magazine The Genealogist, I managed to get a Rugby World Cup themed article published in the August edition of the UK Family Tree magazine.

August was Family History Month, and I "roadshowed" around approx 28 libraries during the month, showcasing our family history pages on our website, and our Family History eResources - this time to customers.

I attended the NZSG Conference in Dunedin in June; and spoke twice at the 2011 New Zealand Family History Fair in August. One presentation went really well, the other not so well, as it was to do with genealogy for medical reasons and was a bit too close to my own family circumstances at the time.

I assisted in organising the UnlockthePast shore-based Auckland seminars, prior to their Scottish-Irish History and Genealogy Cruise in November, in partnership with the NZSG and UnlockthePast.

We also had some amazing speakers, both local and international. Our normal family history lunchtime sessions were a success, but we also had extra ones too.

I was out and about during work time, and in the evenings and at weekends speaking throughout the Auckland region for libraries and other community groups such as SeniorNet etc.

 These conferences, exhibitions and events I have attended has allowed me to network and meet many people in the genealogy/family history community. I've made some fabulous friendships which I treasure. Wonderful to have personal and professional relationships with people who share my passion.

Of course, although my blogging was scarce, I still made measured use of social media tools and forums to promote all our events, and that in itself takes a whole heap of time!

And to round off the year, I have planned next year's events up till the end of July. Keep an eye on this page of our website, for upcoming events.

When I return to work at the beginning of February, I will have another Family History month (August) to organise, and the remainder of the year!

So having written this blog now, starting out feeling bad about neglecting it, and bad about the things I didn't manage to do - I don't feel so bad now.

Its been great to write this, and realise that I did achieve quite a bit after all. Must remember to celebrate the successes! And make sure I don't try and bite off more than I can chew!