RootsTech – Day 0

4 February 2016

RootsTech is huge. It’s official. Before I travelled to Utah, I knew that the event would be US-sized (if you haven’t been before, most things are enormous compared to UK sizes) but the event takes over for almost an entire week. The Family History Library has been packed full every day this week and it is almost impossible to go anywhere without bumping into a genealogist – amateur, professional, commercial or whatever.

Yesterday (Wednesday) was the Innovator Summit – “a one-day event for developers, entrepreneurs, and innovators from around the globe to explore, examine, and discover business and technological opportunities within the family history industry”. The semi-finalists were whittled down to six from twelve and a UK company – Twile – are in the final six! I spent much of the day being a Salt Lake tourist. Thanks to Chief in Charge of Northern Office (CiCoNO), we have managed to ‘bag ourselves’ a bucket load of perks. I never even knew that you could apply to be a RootsTech Ambassador. It appears that you can and that I am one.

One of the perks was a visit to the Church History Library – not to be confused with the Family History Library or the Church History Museum. It would be fair to say that the visit ‘behind the scenes’ was fantastic! It is built on top of the Granite Mountain Records Vault and houses twelve of the fifteen storage vaults (the other three are in other locations around the globe). They have two million books, 250,000 manuscripts and another 250,000 magazines and the Conservation Lab is fascinating. What they can achieve with old, damaged documents is out of this world!

The concerning thing is that not many people know the Church History Library is there and few people have visited during their time in Salt Lake City. I would 100% recommend a visit and, although you probably won’t be able to see all the wonderful parts of the library that we did, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Oh, I missed out that I had breakfast with my good friend Darris Williams of FamilySearch in the morning….. I had a guided tour of the Joseph Smith Building with some of the best views of the City. The guided part was great but anyone can go up to the Tenth Floor to view Salt Lake City from above. Another experience not to be missed!

Early afternoon, I met up with my panel buddies – Jill Ball, Roger Moffat and Christine Woodcock – to prepare our presentation on ‘Dealing with Ethical Dilemmas in an Online World‘ for Friday. Very exciting to be a part of an international panel to discuss some important issues in the field.

So many possibilities for events at all times of the day. Triple booked for the evening…. oh heck…. what to do?

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