CGS Committees: Desk Duty Committee

by Chris Pattillo (11/12/2022)

Current Desk Duty Committee

Written by: Maureen Hanlon, Chair
One in a series of blog posts about CGS committees and their work

Serving as the public face of the CGS Library, members of the Desk Duty Committee welcome visitors, manage the library, and help patrons with everything they need. The last time there was a write-up about the Desk Duty Committee was fourteen years ago–October 2008–and three of those stalwart volunteers continue on our roster today: Dick Rees, Pat Smith, and Lorna Wallace. We treasure their commitment and depth of knowledge. As you can see by comparing the photo below with more current ones, they haven’t changed a bit!  Clearly, it’s a stress-free job (hah).

Desk Duty Committee

PurposeThe desk duty team opens the library and greets visitors when they arrive. They answer patron questions, answer the phone, return voice messages, reshelve books and take care of whatever else is needed.
ChairMaureen Hanlon
Time Commitment4-hour shifts once a month minimum
Helpful SkillsFriendly, outgoing personality, knowledge of the library, some research skill
Work LocationIn the library

There are eight other members of the group who take on the job of “Director of First Impressions” of the CGS Library. They are: Felicia Addison, Kate Black, Glenda Castain, Linda Edwards, Karen Halfon, Ron Madson, Kristi Wessenberg and chair, Maureen Hanlon. The committee also includes Kathleen Beitiks, Keith Montgomery, and “emeritus” member Sally Houston.

Our group has a wide range of experience and most members hold dual or triple CGS roles. Pat is chair of the Research team; Linda, Kristi and Karen are library volunteers, Ron and Karen lead the FTM-SIG. Ron is also on the Board and has documented CGS events with his photography skills. Many of the photos of the team are from Ron’s albums.

We’ve had some discussions about our name, because “duty” sounds so onerous and not like the job we do. It allows us to use many skills and know lots of practical and detailed information.  We are trusted with cash for visit and copying fees, we help patrons with the machines, we know when to call the technical gurus for help.  We find and re-shelve books.  But most importantly, we make our visitors feel welcome and supported.  Each member currently serves a four-hour stint on one of the Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays the library is open.  We are looking forward to expanded hours and the plans to have hybrid classes on Saturdays. If you are interested in joining the team, please email Maureen Hanlon.

2008 Desk Duty Team

2008 Desk Duty crew included (L-R) Pat Smith, Kathy Watson, Lorna Wallace, Diana Wild, Judy Bodycote and Dick Rees


CGS Committees: Part 2 – Membership Committee

by Chris Pattillo (11/11/2022)

2022 Membership Committee

Lois Elling and Judy Zelver

One in a series of blog posts about CGS committees and their work
*This committee currently has openings for volunteers

Lois Elling has chaired our membership committee since 2018. She is well-organized and easy to talk to. Lois enjoys her role as Membership chair because she enjoys connecting with CGS members, is able to do most of the committee work from home and has flexibility as to when she is in the library.

Membership Committee

PurposeThe membership committee maintains the membership database, processes new and renewing memberships, communicates with members as needed by email or phone, and helps process CGS mail.
ChairLois Elling
MeetsTwice each month at the library
Time CommitmentTypically, 2 hours at the beginning of each month and 30-60 minutes mid-month plus 7-9 hours per month at home. A new committee member would share in this time commitment.
Helpful SkillsBasic computer skills, printing documents, attention to detail and friendly communication skills via phone and email.
Work LocationIn the library and at home.

Currently, there are two members of the membership committee. Judy Zelver helps Lois with various tasks. They both process membership renewals and keep the membership database current. Judy does most of the supply orders and has primary responsibility for mailing out renewal notices.

Lois and Judy regularly send out updates to her committee chairs and the board, as well as complete roster updates once a month. They share responsibility with the treasurer for picking up the CGS mail and distributing it. Lois responds to inquiries related to membership, renewals, and and website access, and coordinates with our technology team to ensure that new members have access to the members-only portion of our website.

Membership is looking for at least one additional volunteer to check and respond to emails on a regular basis and when Lois is out of town. Communication skills are important for this position when responding to questions about the status of one’s membership either by phone or email. If you are interested in helping the Membership Committee, please email [email protected].

3 Class Recordings Available for a limited time

by California Genealogical Society (11/9/2022)

Three of our recent special presentations were recorded. You can still register to watch them, but only for a few more weeks!

Head shot

Jennifer Holick

Available through Nov 20:

Jennifer Holick offers a new way of looking at genealogical timelines in which you may identify family beliefs, behaviors, and patterns that will give you new insight. A spiritual coach who specializes in inherited and war trauma, Holick has published numerous books on genealogy and on World War II.



Head shot

Pam Vestal

Available through Dec 1:

Voting Records: Genealogy’s Best Kept Secret
Pam Vestal
discusses the wealth of information to be found in voter registries, from the individual’s national origins to date of birth, when they became a citizen, and much more.



Head shot

Rebecca Whitman Koford

Available through Dec 7:

Well-known genealogical presenter Rebecca Whitman Koford gives an overview of service records, pensions, and bounty land warrants, and how to access them and find the genealogical riches they contain.