Library Seminars

Welcome to our catalog of library seminars. All of the topics below are available for presentation at your library or through your library cooperstive or consortium and are delivered by George G. Morgan. Click on any topic link and you'll be taken to the abstract description of that presentation. Click on the link labeled Return to Top and you'll be returned to the top of this page.

Please contact George G. Morgan by email at or by phone at (813) 220-6274 to discuss availability and fees.

Soft Skills Topics
Technology Skills Topics


Soft Skills Topics

Times have changed! The 21st Century librarian must interact with and conduct reference interviews with customers in more than one medium. These ‘polite customer service interrogations’ may now take place in the traditional face-to-face manner. Increasingly, however, these interactions take place via the telephone, by e-mail, or a virtual reference chat room.
Many library paraprofessionals and other staff members have never had the benefit of formal training in reference interview concepts and methodologies. Patrons either don’t or can’t always articulate exactly what they want or need. Therefore, the necessity of providing extraordinary service to their customers requires that every staff member be adept at interviewing in order to connect the patron with the information and resources they want or need.
This exciting and fast-paced, full-day workshop sets the stage with reference interview concepts, and uses role-playing and discussion to illustrate methods and to hone your skills. “Secret questions” are used to emulate real-life examples of customer reference interviews, and attendees will gain valuable experience interacting with different media.
Don’t miss this opportunity to really learn from an expert and from your peers all the tricks of the reference trade in the 21st Century.

This full-day session is geared toward reference librarians and other library professionals who interface with genealogy patrons of all levels. This insightful workshop covers the following topics:
  • What are Genealogy and Family History, and How Do They Differ?
  • Genealogy - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
  • Types of Genealogists and What Motivates Them?
  • Basic Genealogy Research Steps
  • Understanding Genealogy Forms and Documents
  • Types of Records Available to Genealogists
  • Collection Development Issues and Policies
  • Other Library Policies Related to Genealogy
  • Patron Expectations
  • What Other Resources/Referrals Can You Provide?
  • How Can You Best Serve Your Patrons?


Public and academic libraries are involved with capturing and preserving the memories of citizens in their communities. Oral history interview recordings may already exist in many formats and need to be digitized. New projects need to be developed and organized, and plans made for digitizing them and making these materials available to the public.

Learn the principles of organizing and conducting oral history interviews in your community. Identify interview subjects, develop questions, obtain permissions for ownership and use, schedule and conduct interviews, and prepare to make interviews available. This all-day session will discuss all of these concepts, selecting audio and video recording equipment, and will briefly cover available editing software for both the PC and Macintosh operating systems. Transcription and other available software options are also discussed.

Start making history today!


Technology Topics 

Being able to locate something on the Web to help satisfy a patron’s need isn’t enough anymore. Among the tens of billions of Web pages on the Internet, it is your job to provide your patrons with the very best information possible. That means that you have to be able to locate the best quality materials and to help your patrons become savvy information consumers. 
This workshop will teach you to hone your skills in locating and assessing the quality of Web sites: origin, authority, accuracy, currency, bias, and more. In addition, you’ll learn how to locate more quality sites in a more manageable quantity to best serve your patrons. You’ll have lots of time for hands-on experience too!

We must use every resource available to satisfy customers’ demands. Among the tools we use are databases of all types. You have to know how to use the databases before you can apply them to customer requests and before you can teach your customers how to use them. Each database provider may use a unique user interface to access or query the content, and the search results often vary depending on the type of database and its content. 

This half-day workshop discusses and demonstrates how to evaluate various databases for their content, assess the user interface to use it, and methods for effectively searching for information, and how to evaluate the search results in order to home in on more specific results. Several commonly available databases in our libraries will be demonstrated.

Most people have learned how to use directories and search engines to locate information on the Internet. There are occasions, however, when you need a more thorough concentration of material on a given subject area. That's where a database might come in handy. 

There are literally thousands of specialized databases available through the Internet covering a broad range of subjects. There are databases containing full-text articles available at no charge. There are databases that provide indexes and abstracts to articles available for order at a fee.  And still others are available only on a fee basis. 

This half-day workshop will discuss how to locate databases that exist on the Internet but which may only be found using special search strategies or using topic-specific search engines. Learn how to locate and access these important resources. 

The Internet has produced many new means of communication, and higher bandwidth available through cable and DSL providers allow users to experience high-quality audio and video. A relatively new technology is offered by the podcast – a simple audio recording that can replace audio- and video-streaming and allow for the broadcasting of spoken content. 
Libraries are looking at podcasts to enhance the way they communicate with patrons through public service announcements, audio clips of upcoming programs, book reviews, interviews, and even weekly remote children’s storytime. 
Learn how podcasting works and how it can enhance your library’s Web site and patron communications from the co-host of “The Genealogy GuysSM Podcast,” the longest running and most popular genealogy podcast in the world.
Return to Top is indisputably the largest genealogical database in the world. It presents more than 40,000 databases and the number increases annually. There are collections for the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and China.
Ancestry Library Edition is a smaller version of the full collection, available by institutional subscription from ProQuest. Library Edition provides a robust subset of genealogical resources that your genealogy customers can use in their family history research. Learn the organization of the Library Edition database product and how to effectively search and browse the resources there.

The instructor, George G. Morgan, is the author of the first and second editions of The Official Guide to and shares his many years of experience working with the databases.
Return to Top

The Genealogy Guys is a registered Service Mark of Aha! Seminars, Inc.