Saturday, May 30, 2009

More Good Stuff

Don't you just hate that word "stuff?"  What is stuff?  It is what I put in my computer bag to go to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library.  You Go Genealogy Girl #2 supposedly had an identical bag, only blue and mine is red.  Once there, she realized that hers was much smaller. She definitely has NOT learned how to consolidate, so ended up putting her "stuff" into one of her suitcases on wheels.  

Actually you see everything imaginable in line at the front door of the library as well as inside. If you are lugging around a laptop, plus supplies and notes or notebooks, it is a good idea to wheel it in.  Girl #2 wasn't the only one there with a suitcase!  

Let's take a peak at what was inside my rolling computer bag.  Of course, my laptop was in it. Along with that I had the power cord and the computer lock, both necessary.  You won't need an extender to your power cord in the library, but you may in your hotel room depending upon how far you are from a plug in.  Girl #2 decided to use the desk and I used the round table in our room.  She had a power outlet close by, but I had to use my extender cord.  

In the pocket area of my bag I packed 3x5 cards on which I jotted down call numbers of books or micofilm numbers.  You are allowed five of each at a time (even though people sometimes take more books to their tables).  Having five numbers on the card helps in keeping pace with the retrieval process.  

I also had a staple puller, small stapler, pens (red, blue, black) labeled with my name and a mechanical pencil also labeled with my name, plus a highlighter.  Nobody took any from my work site, but Girl #2 has been known to snatch pens from me in a "quick-use" and then they don't get back ... yes you do!!  Thus the names on them.  I took post-it notes and never used them.  If you take them, do not mark books with them as they leave a residue that can be damaging to the pages.  If you take a small stapler, be sure to take some staples!  

Girl #2 uses a mouse and mouse pad at all times with her laptop.  I used mine only in the hotel room.  If you are a cordless mouse user, be sure you have replacement batteries in your bag.  I did and had to use one.  

Other sundry items included hand sanitizer and hand lotion, both of which I used extensively. In fact, first thing each morning I took both out of my bag and had them by my computer.  It is dry in Salt Lake City, especially if you are from points east.  Be sure you pack some lip balm.  I also took a small magnifying glass, but never used it.  The eyes are still pretty good.  Oh yes, I took business cards and did hand them to people we met.  Girl #2 borrowed from me as she forgot hers.  I have a small, round plastic pill box in which I put allergy and pain meds, just in case.  Girl #2 had spare eye glasses in her bag ... I know because her bag accidentally fell over on one pair and she had to put the lenses back in them.  

In another area of my computer bag I had a few file folders.  These came in very handy for sorting out copies and keeping track of them.  I also had a spiral notebook in which I made notes.  In addition I made notes to myself on my laptop.  

Speaking of the laptop, be sure that your laptop is updated with your family files and other items you may need.  You need know the passwords to subscription sites if you are checking them while in the library.  There is free Internet access in the rooms at the Plaza. Girl #2 was bumped off frequently, but I was never bumped off.  You can access Internet from any location in the library, allowing you to check e-mails, the local newspapers, your bank account, get into your subscription accounts and also check blogs (ours in particular!).  

Each evening before going to bed, we cleaned out our computer bags, making sure we had everything needed for the next day, including the file folders and all my pens and pencil.  I used a sweater mainly to mark my chair so I could spot it.  Each morning all I had to do was put a fresh jug of water into the computer bag, insert the laptop, zip up and grab my sweater and little pouch I slung over my shoulder for my cash, library photocopy card and room key card. Usually I had to wait for Girl #2 to stuff more into her suitcase.  

Then we were ready to begin our brief wait for the library to open, watching genealogists in their array of bags and attire line up at the door.  We met great genealogists while we waited. Hope they thought we were great also!  

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