My Goal for 2008

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Traditionally, January 1st is a day for New Year’s Resolutions but many years ago I began instead to create a yearly set of Goals. Perhaps this is just semantics but while I am good at deciding or resolving to do something, it’s usually the execution that is the problem. This “goal setting” exercise has evolved into a set of lists that I create for the various parts of my life. I’ve learned to set fewer goals but to include specific “actions” – a technique learned from David Allen’s Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. The “next action” is one of the hallmarks of Allen’s GTD philosophy, and he defines it as: “the next physical, visible activity that needs to be engaged in, in order to move the current reality toward completion.”

I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to get one of the local media outlets to do a piece on the California Genealogical Society and Library and so I am hereby making this my 2008 CGS goal. And in keeping with the GTD action step requirement, I’ve created a “Top Ten” pitch list to email to Bay Area newspapers and magazines. I will be modifying it to send to some of the local television and radio talk shows, as well. I’ll keep you posted as I come up with new strategies for reaching my goal and I welcome any suggestions you may have (or the phone number of your brother-in-law who works for KTVU).

Top 10 Reasons to Feature the California Genealogical Society and Library in 2008:

1. The California Genealogical Society (CGS) was the first genealogy society in the state, founded February 12, 1898, in San Francisco. CGS has been located in Oakland since 1998.

2. The California Genealogical Society and Library blog debuted November 25, 2007.

3. A full 73 percent of Americans are are intrigued by their family roots according to a 2005 poll by Market Strategies, Inc. (MSI).

4. A Cal State Fullerton study showed that interest in genealogy spans a wide range of ages with the strongest interest being in middle age, most starting “at an average age of 40.”

5. California Genealogical Society Research Director, Nancy Peterson, literally wrote the book on San Francisco research. Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research was published by CGS in June 2006.

6. In March 2007, CGS moved to its newest location in the historic Breuner Building in Oakland’s Uptown District.

7. The California Genealogical Society maintains a library of over 30,000 genealogy reference materials and has released a beta version of its online catalog.

8. Long-time CGS volunteer Dorothy Fowler penned A Most Dreadful Earthquake, A First-Hand Account of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, with Glimpses into the Lives of the Phillips-Jones Letter Writers. The book was published in April 2006 by CGS to coincide with the centennial of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

9. The California Genealogical Society and Library (now 900 members strong) hosts monthly membership meetings and has a First Saturday Free policy of allowing non-members free access on the first Saturday of every month.

10. The Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau list of 100 Things to Do includes tip #80: “Trace your family history at the California Genealogical Society.”