Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Future of LDS Family History Centers

James W Anderson
Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 9:08 AM
To: FHCNET@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [FHCNET] new technology including nFS

Most of what I am hearing about FHCs are that they are going to be used more than ever.

Yes, films are going to eventually go away, but not all of them, so film readers are still going to be a necessity. About 13 percent of the films will not be able to be scanned due to publishing permissions issues. That means that the party who let the Church film the records did not give permission to scan them into digital form. So consequently, film readers are going to be needed.

The other thing is that the FHC is going to be needed more because of the training that is coming soon, we may hear about some of that this year. That's why everyone got a projector earlier this year. Don Anderson showed a clip or two at the BYU Family History Conference to show us what this will be like.

Not everyone has a broadband connection, and some don't have an Internet connection or even a computer, sometimes due to economic circumstances. If any given ward is like any other ward, there will be a fair number of people who don't have computers or do not want to be bothered with them. But they will have to get into the system to clear names. Also so they can come in and get the online training and classes on family history topics from the FHL that is going to be offered as I noted above.

So the traffic to the FHC will increase. Closing a center will only cause strains on the others in a given area down the line if what I'm thinking might happen does. In areas like Utah where there are alot of people in smaller areas, they can consolidate some and already have, but in areas where members are more spread out, an FHC in the building will be indispensible in the coming years and given that family history is one of the three missions of the Church, FHCs are something that we can't live without in furthering the mission of the Church, no matter what one leader or another might otherwise desire.

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