As many of my close friends know, I joined the Irish American Heritage Center about two years ago. The main reason I joined is because they have Irish Genealogy meetings once a month which are free for members (though there is nothing that states non-members have to pay to attend). Today I thought I would give you a list of 10 reasons why you should join a Heritage Center or Museum as well.
- Meeting new people who share your interest. I am not the kind of person who likes to go to anywhere by myself, but I stepped outside of my comfort zone and went to my first meeting a week or so after I joined. It was great to sit in the library of the IAHC and discuss genealogy with a group of people who were interested in the same subject that I was.
- Knowledge. Lets face it, no one has all the answers. But, someone just might have more knowledge than you.
- Discounted entrance fees for events. I cannot say for sure that your center does this. But, the IAHC has different rates for members and non members for each event.
- The library. At the IAHC members are allowed to borrow books from the library. If you are not a member, well checking a book out is not an option for you.
- The museum. Sadly I have to say that for being a member for so long, I had no clue what the museum held. Because I attended the Ireland Reaching Out Event in August, I was able to tour the museum with the IRO guests. WOW, it was amazing to see what they had in their collection.
- History. Where else will you learn the history of the places your ancestors came from?
- Cousins. Yes through the genealogy meetings it is possible you might find a distant cousin. There is a lady that attends the IAHC meetings with me that has O’Connell ancestors that were not to far from where I found mine in County Cork. Are we related? Well, it’s too soon to know. But, hopefully we will be able to figure this out.
- Networking. Yes this goes along with #1 on the list, but networking is a bit different. For those of us that are accepting clients, networking at a Heritage Center / Museum just might bring us future clients.
- Learning. Remember the knowledge of others from #2? Well, do not attend to just take notes on what might be related to your family. Take the time to listen and absorb the knowledge so that you continue to learn and grow as well.
- FUN! Remember to have fun with everything you do at the center. Yes, we can meet new people, learn and grow. But, life is meant to be enjoyed so have fun as well!
Hope you enjoyed this list and it encourages you to go and join your local heritage center as well.