Thursday, September 27, 2012

Talking about Professionalism

Genealogists are like journalists: many of us want to think of ourselves as professionals (and many don't), but we are often not thought of that way. The problem is exacerbated by the triple ambiguity of the term, which can mean doing it for money, doing it well, or just doing it in a calm and collected way.

The Transitional Genealogists Forum has just had a non-flaming discussion of the subject. If you're interested but in a hurry, I recommend visiting the archives for September and seeking out the thoughtful posts by Jillaine Smith, John Yates, and Connie Sheets.(Yes, I am outsourcing this post!)

I am well aware that some people want this topic to go away. It never will, as long as we individually and collectively have a reach that sometimes exceeds our grasp.

What can we do to make things better, raise standards in fact, and raise our collective reputation? Surely continuing education is paramount. Whether any group should require it is debatable. What kind of "best practices" any group should put forth is also debatable. But it's sure necessary, because the field is changing constantly, and newbies are coming through all the time.

Harold Henderson, "Talking about Professionalism," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 27 September 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

No comments: