Starting out another day at the BYU Family History and Genealogy Conference, the week has passed very quickly. There does not seem to be enough time to get everything done. The first class of the is presented by Merrill White, Manager of Library Patron Services at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah entitled Family History Centers Portal and a Vision of the Future of Family History Centers. I was most interested to see what was going to happen to Family History Centers. He started with a good explanation of the free resources available at the Family History Centers through the portal. I was not much surprised at some of the comments made by attendees. Even here at the BYU Conference there is an abysmal lack of knowledge of basic resources available by the genealogists.
Here are some notes from the presentation: White made an analogy to banking services where there are a lot of online services but you still need to go into the bank. Even though banking has expanded its service options but they still have a person in the form of a teller to do banking services. Just because Family History Centers are now online does not mean they are going anywhere. The first Family History Center was at BYU in 1964 and has now expanded to more than 4500 world wide. FamilySearch.org went online in 1999. Now they have added wikis, forums and online training. (Note: if you do not look at FamilySearch.org regularly, you are missing all of the fabulous records going online every day).
I guess one of the main things that I get out of conferences, especially this one, is the huge number of ideas i get for posts and to answer research questions. I benefit not just as a blogger, but also as a genealogist doing my own research and taking care of my own records. There was a good discussion in White's class about the needs of Family History Centers. If you are associated with a Family History Center, this is one of the few times I have seen this type of discussion available. It makes it worth the whole visit to the Conference. Almost all the comments made struck home as issues Family History Centers had in common.
Next, I went to a class that had particular interest to me from Ruth Manness on "The Genealogy of Temple Record Keeping." This is interesting to me because of my support at the Mesa Regional Family History Center but also, because of part of what I wrote in The Guide to FamilyHistory Online (see the link to the page above in the menu bar). Manness covered each of the different records in which Temple Ordinance information was preserved at each stage in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Well, I have some business to attend to before I leave Utah and so I had to leave the Conference early. Too bad, there were still a couple of classes to go to. See you next time.