29 May 2014

What's In It For Me?

Many of you are aware that one of my other hobbies is model railroading. I belong to the National Model Railroading Association (NMRA) and have found that they are experiencing a number of the same issues as we are in the genealogy hobby. Below is a message from a recent issue of the NMRA Magazine that I feel reflects the situation in the Ontario Genealogical Society and genealogy in general:

One of the unfortunate things about our current society is a "what's in it for me?"attitude. It's too bad, be­cause some of the first to feel the effects are non­profit organizations. Obviously, the NMRA is included in that group. Even PBS and NPR have to give away coffee mugs and DVDs just to get people to support their work.
Frankly, there's not a whole lot you can say to convince folks that support­ing the organization that supports the hobby that's given them so many hours of pleasure is worthwhile. If you talk to anyone who's an NMRA supporter, you quickly find out that they're the people who are giving back to the hobby rather than just taking from it. They're the people involved in Divisions and Regions, organizing events that everyone can enjoy, putting together clinics and presenta­tions that help everyone else, planning get-togethers. They're the people who are helping others get a lot out of model railroading. The folks who just suck it all in and don't pass it on are usually the first to leave, claiming they're not getting anything for their money.
The bottom line really is, if the folks who are leaving the NMRA don't see the value in the friendships they've made, in the informa­tion they've learned, in the good times they've had socializing with others in your Division, then nothing anyone can say will sway them. And even if we gave away free coffee mugs with memberships, I'm sure folks like that would complain that "all I get is this lousy coffee mug?"
Rest assured that after all the naysayers have gone, the group that will be left will be the people who really do care about the hobby and each other!
-Gerry Leone, MMR, HLM
NMRA Vice-President/Special Projects

20 May 2014

Latest acquisitions at the OGS Ottawa Branch library

Over fifty books were added to the OGS Ottawa Branch library in May. Some new titles to look for include:
  • The Plague of the Spanish Flu: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 in Ottawa
  • Ottawa's Military History
  • The Rising of the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry in Ottawa
  • Rideau Canal & Bytown: Memoranda by Dr. A.J. Christie, Physician to the Rideau Canal Works
  • Ottawa School Gardens in the early 1900s
  • Manotick, Then and Now: Reflections and Memories (Second Edition)
  • Ottawa: A Pictorial Record (donated by Anne Cardinal, 2014)
  • The Pioneer Farmer and Backwoodsman, vol. 1 (donated by Jim Neelin, 2014)
  • Might Directories : 1920 Official Street Guide of the City of Ottawa (donated by Jim Neelin, 2014)

06 May 2014

OGS Conference 2017

OGS Conference 2014 just finished in St Catharines and it's time to look ahead. The OGS Conference will be returning to Ottawa again in 2017. This will be the sixth time that we have hosted the event (1972, 1977, 1988, 2000 and 2007 as well as co-hosting 2012 in Kingston).
2017 is the 150th anniversary of Confederation and it will be a busy time in Ottawa. We normally don’t advertise until the previous Conference is underway but I am putting out a call for volunteers to help organize the event. Three years may seem like a long time but we need to start getting ready before very much longer.

We already have a small group of volunteers but if you would like to be involved in this event, please let us know at conference2017@ogsottawa.on.ca. We particularly need a Treasurer with financial expertise.