Rootsweb Message...... 6 Sep 2006
This article was in the latest Rootsweb Newsletter.....Does it apply to US?
Who Pays for Your Research?
By Burned-out Volunteer
Would you be willing to pay 59 cents for that newspaper article about
the accident your ancestors were in? Would you pay 64 cents for the
census you couldn't locate your grandparents in? How about 89 cents for
that elusive marriage certificate or the death notice/obituary you
really want? Would you even pay a nominal amount for the cemetery
Apparently not -- because those are the costs of a copy and a stamp that
I have been paying for the 98 percent of the people who have used my
services for the past nine years. Copy costs range from 20 cents a page
up to 50 cents a page depending on where they are found. Sometimes the
first copy is poor quality and I have to redo it. With the exception of
nine very kind people (out of several hundred), I have personally
subsidized their research and it has finally gotten too expensive.
I am not government subsidized. I am not independently wealthy. I am not
asking anyone to pay for my gasoline or the dollars I drop in the
donation boxes at societies and museums or the candy I sometimes take to
the ladies in the cemetery offices but it would be so nice if people
would pay for their photos, copies and postage -- and at least ASK if I
have out of pocket expenses."
I understand that polite people do not like to talk about money. I do
not like to talk about money either. But let's talk about losing
volunteer help. By its very definition volunteer help should be free.
But generous volunteers should not be required to PAY for YOUR copies
and the cost of mailing them to you. There are even people who do not
let me know when they receive the material that I have paid for and
sent to them.
I can't afford to do your free research any more.