Hello genealogists and WikiTreers!
I have returned and mostly recovered from the excitement and energy of the RootsTech conference. I spent almost all of my time volunteering at the WikiTree.com booth. There were many classroom sessions that I am sorry I missed, but I did get to attend a couple DNA topics that were very good. I finally met Bennett Greenspan, the CEO of FamilyTreeDNA. I also met A. J. Jacobs, author and contributor to the New York Times.
Mostly, I told hundreds of people about our wonderful WikiTree.com and worked to get folks interested in what we are doing on our free, one-big-worldwide family tree.
I did spend a couple of hours at the SLC Family History Library on Wednesday, but never got back there after that. I am thrilled to say that they are digitizing most of the books in their library so that they can be read on-line, but I am a little disappointed that as a result, the books are being removed from the shelves, permanently as I understand it. So the Smith books are all gone from the shelves. In fact, pretty much all the family genealogy books from S to Z are gone from the shelves. I felt like there isn't much reason to go to the SLC Library if you can't look in the family genealogy books anymore. On the up-side of that though, you can word search for "John Smith" and have a much better chance of finding the one you want, and they have hundreds of computers available for your research use.
The regional information books are still in the stacks on the 3rd(?) floor. You can look at the books about cities, counties, states and countries in these regional areas. The unbelievable microfilm section is still there (and as daunting as ever to me.) And all of this is free to use thanks to the generosity of the LDS faith members, and numerous LDS volunteers are available at every section to assist with your search.
Surprisingly, I only met a few Smith researchers, but it was a high energy conference and I am already thinking about next year, February 11-14, 2015. Weather-wise it was chilly in the 30s most of the time, but it didn't snow in the valley and the hotel was across the hotel driveway from the conference center. The Radisson was very nice with a great breakfast buffet, located inside the nice quiet restaurant for lunch or dinner (a wonderful respite from the noise in the exhibitors hall.) The TRAX light rail from the airport is very convenient and $2.50 each way to or from the airport. Maybe we can meet up there next year!