WOW!!! I love going to Salt Lake City for research. I look forward to it every year. You never know what you will find, what is new, finish what you didn't finish from the previous time.
I have registered to go to FGS/RootsTech2015 in February. I also have reserved my room, so just the packing is left besides getting ready for the LIBRARY. I am really excited about going, as I am every year. There is so much more to the Conference than just the classes. There are so many extra activities and events planned along with many luncheons with excellent speakers. So many choices, but most of that is taken care of with the registration to the conference. AND then there is the LIBRARY.
I have been attending RootsTech since it began and look forward to attending every year. I feel so privileged to be able to spent time at the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City. The first year or maybe even two, I thought I was preparing to go to the Library to some serious researching, but never seemed to find much. Then I took a class on actually preparing to go to the LIBRARY in Salt Lake City. Wow, what a difference it made. So if a session is offered close to you ATTEND IT. It will be well worth the time and energy.
First while still at home I go through my family tree......... I try to use the To-Do List in my Legacy Family Tree Software Program..... as I work in my program over the year I try to keep up-to-date and add to the To-Do list as I go. Then at times like this, while thinking about the trip in February, I start compiling a paper To-Do list from my software program........ I try to put family names together and then try to break it down even more than that......... say Vital Records, history of 'whereever', probates etc.......... I even refine the list even more by putting all the books together on one page, all the microfilm together - while refining each page.
I have spent dozens of hours combing through the LIBRARY catalog........ trying to see what else may be available to look at while I have time. I cannot emphasize enough that the more organized you are the more you will be able to do without getting frustrated. It is stressful enough knowing all this stuff is available and not being ready. So get organized and do your research homework.
What to take to the library: If it is summer, a light sweater. If it is winter, winter jacket, boots, possibly an umbrella..... Oh did I mention they do have lockers so you can put what you want in the locker, the less you have to keep track of the better you will feel. I make sure that I have my laptop (with lock, hard drive, thumb drives & cords), a good paper notebook & pencils, my flip pal scanner, plus my smart phone. This is what I need to research, take notes, copy and maintain information, documents and records. As I said I have a
I have not been to the LIBRARY since February 2014, but I hear that there are some huge but good changes. There is always someone around to ask questions ...... and some answers are better than others. But now if you need specific help, you go to the help desk and ask. Unlike other years, you are given a buzzer type thing and when a specialist is located, they buzz you. So instead of having to stand in line waiting you are able to go back to serious research until they have located someone to help you. I LIKE THIS!!
Make you sure check when the LIBRARY is open - what days of the week are they open, and what are the hours each day. They are closed on Sundays. They do have a 10 minute orientation video to watch when you first come in. Yes, it will be helpful to watch. Take the time. Where are you going to eat? YES EAT. There are designated areas for food and drinks. There are tours you can take. There are also classes you can take while visiting the :LIBRARY. I just looked and it looks like there are only classes scheduled on Monday and then nothing more that week. But the other weeks have classes each day. So if you go another time check that schedule before you go so if you see something that interests you, you can work that into your LIBRARY experience. You can also pick up a paper copy of the classes being offered at the door as you come in. You never know what has changed.
Probably the one thing you will need to be aware of while balancing the LIBRARY and the conference experience is PATIENCE. With two conferences being presented in the same time frame and all attending being family researchers EVERYTHING will be crowd, you will need PATIENCE.
Enjoy! Happy Hunting!