Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The FamilySearch Discovery Center Initiative

FamilySearch is currently involved in reinventing the concept of the family history center. The project is referred to as "the FamilySearch Discovery Center Initiative." As mentioned in a blog post by The Ancestry Insider entitled "Über Cool Family History Center of the Future Shown at #FGS2013," the
mission statement of the new initiative is:
The Family Discovery Center offers individuals and families simple yet powerful in-person experiences to discover their heritage and have their hearts turned to their ancestors.
D. Merrill White of FamilySearch has been making presentations entitled, "Discovering the FamilySearch Family History Library of Tomorrow." He will apparently be presenting this same introduction to the new project at the Riverton FamilySearch Library on 16 November 2013. This will likely be similar to the presentation he made at the 2013 annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The details of the new FamilySearch Center experience are outlined in The Ancestry Insider's blog post referenced above. But overall, it is an effort to add cutting edge technology to present family history in a thought provoking and entertaining way. From the description, I am reminded of the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois, but likely on a much smaller scale. The post mentions that a first implementation of this concept may occur in a Ward building in Seattle, Washington.

The new Director of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah was quoted in a FamilySearch Blog post as saying:
Today, our research shows that the Family History Library and our centers are great places to do genealogical research. We need to figure out how to balance the needs of researchers while increasing appeal to those with other family history interests,” said Loosle. “You can’t attract a younger audience and offer the same experiences. We need to offer fun experiences and activities for the entire family that will increase love, appreciation, and understanding of their ancestors. 
In 2013-14, Diane says she has some very specific goals as the new director of the Family History Library: 
  • Become more family and youth-oriented through providing interactive, discovery experiences.
  • Enhance the services of the library through new collaborative research areas and better access to research staff.
  • Engage more patrons from the geographic community surrounding the library.

It would be nice to be in Riverton next week for the presentation. Too bad I am so far away.

1 comment:

  1. I remember talking with my brother about a concept of a family history hang out. I think we talked about taking a traditional young person hang out, a restuarant, and making it a family history lounge. You could enjoy a comfortable atmosphere, soft chairs, decorative surroundings, helpful waiters/waitresses offering drinks and family history help, wifi, etc. Ours was maybe not the best approach, but I'm glad to see some serious creative thinking regarding experiences and atmosphere. I hope this openness to new spaces will continue.