Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Are Family History Centers Changing?
I have mentioned previously that the Mesa FamilySearch Library in Mesa, Arizona is still closed and awaiting a decision about its future. It has been closed since the end of November, 2014, at the date of this post, nearly nine months. In addition, here in Utah, the Utah South Area Family History Training Center in Orem, Utah, one of the most active family history training centers, was precipitously closed on August 5, 2015.
It is not presently clear as to the future of the Mesa FamilySearch Library, but that facility was serving thousands of patrons, especially during the winter months when Mesa is flooded with winter visitors. Unfortunately, the future of the Utah South Area Family History Training Center is clear. Absent a resurrection, it is closed.
We have already begun to feel the impact of the closure of the Utah South Area Family History Training Center at the Brigham Young University Family History Library where even I have been asked about the possibility of some of the volunteers and missionaries coming from the USAFHC to the BYU Family History Library.
Two such events has caused me to wonder if there is a fundamental change in the offing? From my own experience with Family History Centers, I am aware that some of them are understaffed and struggling with few patrons. Recently, FamilySearch has opened locations with a new concept called Family History Discovery Centers.
Maybe there is a consideration (speculation on my part) that some of these larger centers need to be transformed into a more attractive and currently supported format?
On the other hand, there is a brand new, Family History Center Director, section on LDS.org.
Maybe there is new direction for the existing Family History Centers? Perhaps you should read the new section on Family History Center Directors carefully, especially if you are one or have some administrative responsibility for a Family History Center.