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Even when they add up to dimes

The Legal Genealogist is changing hats this morning to association member.

Like many of you, I received an email yesterday advising that the dues for the Association of Professional Genealogists would be going up effective 1 July 2014.

APG.duesAnd maybe you’re sitting there wondering if membership is worth what the new higher dues will be:

• For full membership, worldwide, the dues will be $100 U.S.
• There’s a new youth member category, for those under age 25, and dues will be $50 U.S.
• And to subscribe to the APG Quarterly alone, the cost will be $45.

Or maybe you’ve been thinking about joining APG, and now you’re really wondering if it’s worth it.

I can only give you my take on it. And my own answer is yes, yes, and (can I say this online) hell yes!

That’s my answer in part because of the obvious up-front benefits of being an APG member:

Webinars that are free for everyone but available only to APG members if you can’t attend in real-time. Among the ones recorded and available right now on the member website are:

DNA Explained. Part 1: An Intro to DNA for Genealogists, Roberta Estes
DNA Explained. Part 2: Yikes, My DNA Results are Back! Now What?, Roberta Estes
Working with Autosomal DNA: Intermediate/Advanced Applications, CeCe Moore
Juggling Complex Projects While Staying on Track, J. Mark Lowe CG
Facts, Photos and Fair Use: Copyright Law for Genealogists, Judy G. Russell JD, CG, CGL

Discussion groups just about every week that cover topics ranging from writing and blogging to forensic genealogy and building a business as a genealogist. The schedule for just the next few weeks includes:

• March 26, 9 p.m. EDT

Writing and Blogging, led by Harold Henderson, CG

• April 4, 11 a.m. EDT

Personal Branding and Diversifying Your Business to Make a Profit, led by Michael Hait, CG

• April 8, 9:00 p.m. EDT

Keeping Your Business Plans Up-to-Date, led by Angela Packer McGhie, 8 April

• April 9, 1:00 p.m. EDT

Starting a Business, led by Amy Arner

• April 16, 12:00 p.m. EDT

Writing and Blogging, led by Harold Henderson, CG

• April 30, 9:00 p.m. EDT

Forensic Genealogy, led by Cathi Becker Wiest Desmarais, CG, Melanie D. Holtz, CG, and Kelvin L. Meyers

The APG Quarterly, a publication I read from cover to cover every time it comes in. In addition to articles on professional development, there have been goodies like a whole explanation of trademarks by my Rutgers Law colleague John Kettle and a thorough guide to Irish research by Cathi Becker Wiest Desmarais and a primer on heraldry and coats of arms by Bruce Durie.

The APG Professional Management Conference each year, where topics include again both professional development and others focused on our individual skills as genealogists — whether we take clients or not.

And if that’s not enough, there’s the work APG does behind the scenes with the APG Advocacy Committee, working with the broader genealogical community on records access and other issues.

Except perhaps for those few with inherited wealth, genealogists in general have fixed budgets. We have to give a little here to get a little there.

And every year it’s a struggle to decide what societies to join, what organizations to support.

But here’s one where I have no hesitation about paying my dues in order to get the member benefits.

My take: APG is worth every penny.

Even when they add up to dimes. Or dollars.

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