Sunday, December 11, 2011

No Books at RootsTech

When I attend a genealogy conference one of the things I look forward to is the exhibit hall. I enjoy browsing the vendor tables, especially the book sellers. When I purchase family history books, I feel like the boy in the photo.

Unfortuntely, if I were to attending RootsTech 2012, I would be disappointed.
Certain booksellers are no longer wanted in the exhibit hall.

Yesterday, Leland Meitzler of The Genealogy Blog shared his news that as a book vendor he was no longer wanted in the exhibit hall at the upcoming RootsTech 2012 conference in February 2012. And, Leland is not the only one. It seems that certain vendors who sell and/or publish books, genealogical studies, and/or arts and crafts are no longer welcome to sell their wares at RootsTech.

This announcement has caused an UPROAR in the genealogy community right now. Reaction to this announcement has been quick as seen of Facebook, Twitter (@SeekingSurnames, @FamilyStories), and geneablogs such as:

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? by Sheri Fenly, The Educated Genealogist
My Genealogy Is Rooted In Books by Thomas MacEntee, Geneabloggers
RootsTech by the Book by Amy Coffin, The We Tree Genealogy Blog

The way I see it, people attending a genealogy/family history conference, do so for three reasons:
1) the speakers
2) to network with other like-minded individuals
3) the vendors (especially the books sellers)

So, you might be thinking what's the big deal? It is called RootsTech afterall. And, the focus is on technology related to family history.

Well, one of the ways I learn about technology in general, and technology related to family history in particular, is by reading (real) magazines and books. In my opinion, genealogists love books. Period. As tech-savvy as we may be with our family history software, electronic book readers, smart phones and laptops, most genealogists still love to hold a book in their hands. In my opnion, RootsTech's announcemnt not to include book vendors is a short-sighted decision.

RootsTech's response to the geneablogging community's reaction has been posted on their Facebook page stating "We are listening and are going to revisit this issue."

RootsTech, I hope you really are listening because the geneablogging community has voiced their concerns about your decision, and we are not happy.

Image credit:
photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos

Copyright by Kathryn Lake Hogan, 2011.