CGS Committees: Introduction & Library Committee

by Chris Pattillo (11/6/2022)

Library Committee members

Library Committee members Gibran Rath, Kristi Wessenberg and Shirley Hoye

First in a series of blog posts describing our various committees and their work.
*This committee currently has openings for volunteers

CGS will celebrate its 125th anniversary next year. Lots of things are being planned. If you stop and think about it, it’s pretty amazing that we have sustained this organization for all that time almost entirely with volunteer efforts! The officers and board of directors deserve much of the credit but behind them are the committees.

CGS has eighteen committees that are chaired, staffed and run entirely by member volunteers. This is where much of the work that sustains the society gets done. (You can see a complete list of committees on the website.) In this blog series I will feature each of the committees and explain what they do. Without this network of support the society would falter and be crippled in our efforts to accomplish the things that need to get done. While the board sets our course and guides the organization, it is the committees that complete the essential day-to-day tasks.

Some committees are large. Others are small – sometimes just one individual. Some meet weekly while others meet monthly or on an as-needed basis. New volunteers are always needed so I hope this new blog series will pique interest and that more of you will consider offering some of your time to help support and strengthen CGS.

Library committee

PurposeThe Library Committee maintains the library, processes book donations, purchases new books and removes outdated material
ChairChris Pattillo
MeetsSecond Thursday of the month
Time CommitmentOne hour a month for a meeting plus additional time as needed to work on projects
Helpful SkillsLibrary or eBay experience, data entry, good organization, a love of books
Work LocationIn the library

I begin with the library committee – the committee that I’ve chaired since August of 2021. Current committee members include Kristi Wessenberg, Linda Edwards, Wendy Polivka, Arlene Miles, Gibran Rath, Karen Halfon, Phil Hoehn, and Shirley Hoye.

As chair I set and send out the agenda and lead our monthly meeting on the second Thursday of the month. I type up and send out meeting minutes, do various follow up tasks, serve as the liaison with the board and I also schlep excess books to local bookstores to sell which provides revenue for the society.

Kristi Wessenberg is in charge of our eBay sales. She lists duplicate books that have been donated and mails out those that sell as another revenue generating effort. Kristi is supported by Gibran and Shirley in these efforts.

Arlene Miles is in charge of new book and supply purchases. She does research to find books we want and then buys them.

Wendy Polivka catalogs our new books and enters them into WorldCat. She makes recommendations regarding which books we should keep.

Linda Edwards and Karen Halfon are currently reviewing our holdings and deaccession books that are outdated, duplicates, and readily available online for free. This needs to be done to make space for new additions. In the past they completed a shelf read to make sure books are in order and to identify missing books.

Everyone helps process newly donated books. During my tenure hundreds of books have been given to CGS so this is a big part of what the library committee spends time on.

Our monthly meetings typically last about one hour and always include laughs and personal sidebars. It is apparent that we enjoy each other’s company. After the meeting we each work in the library and then gather for lunch and more socializing. Depending on how much work needs to be done some committee members work in the library between the monthly meetings.

The library committee can use one or two new members! Let me know if you are interested:  [email protected]

November events at CGS!

by California Genealogical Society (11/3/2022)

Happy November! We have a lot to be thankful for this month at CGS. As well as our regular monthly meetings and study groups, we have two special presentations coming up in November:

Tuesday, November 1: “Voting Records: Genealogy’s Best-Kept Secret.” Pam Vestal shows how these often-overlooked gems can be packed with genealogical information, including your ancestor’s origin, date of birth or death, when and where he became a citizen, and more! You can register to view the recording until December 1.

Saturday, November 12: “Using Photoshop Elements for Genealogy.” CGS member Ron Madson discusses how to bring together family history, photography, and computers to enhance your genealogy work! For genealogists at any level: participants should have basic computer literacy and access to Adobe Photoshop Elements (see class description for more). A hybrid event, presented simultaneously online and in person at the Oakland Family History Library.

Monthly meetings:

Saturday, November 5: First Saturday FREE Intro to Genealogy. This month: “Vital Records (Birth, Marriage & Death).”

Wednesday, November 9: Members’ Roundtable. A chance to chat with other CGS members, share your research, and ask questions of fellow genealogists. Meets online 2nd Wednesday every month. See Special Interest Groups to register.

Saturday, November 12: Monthly Board Meeting. Online. All welcome; please preregister.

Saturday, November 19: San Francisco Special Interest Group Back after a long COVID hiatus! Sandra Huber leads this members-only study group for those researching the San Francisco Bay Area’s history and genealogy. This event is held both in-person at the CGS Library and online via Zoom.

Saturday, November 19: Family Tree Maker Special Interest Group. Presenter Karen Halfon. Hybrid meeting is both online and in person at CGS.

Saturday, November 19: Eastern European Special Interest Group (quarterly meeting). Via Zoom.

Monday, November 28: DNA Skills Special Interest Group, 7-8:30 p.m. Contact Mark McLaren: [email protected]net

The library is currently open Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sign up here to arrange your visit.

The following presentations may be viewed online for a limited time:

Ancestral Time Travels: Timelines – available until Nov 20
Voting Records: Genealogy’s Best Kept Secret – available until Dec 1

All our events can be found at EventBrite
And on our Facebook page
We’re also on Instagram and Twitter

Don’t forget to visit our YouTube channel!

Online tour of the CGS library!

by California Genealogical Society (10/28/2022)

Books with title

Check out this fun video featuring Chris Pattillo as she leads us through the library and discusses our many holdings. We hope you can come visit us in person, too!