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3 Ways the Family History Library Is Bringing Resources to Your Home

Access the Family History Library through online consultations, webinars and the Help Center

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By Sydney Walker, Church News

FamilySearch is now offering sign-ups for free one-on-one online consultations with research specialists from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

The consultations join existing live webinars and the online Help Center as another way the Family History Library is making its expertise and resources available, despite being closed due to COVID-19 concerns.

The consultations are designed to continue far beyond the pandemic so people don’t feel the need to travel to Salt Lake City for research help, said Lynn Turner, manager of the Family History Library.

“What we’re really looking to do is bring the library and knowledge of experts to people, instead of looking to bring more people into the library,” Turner said. “We’re trying to open our doors and share the resources of the library more worldwide and to a broader audience.”

Online Consultations

Sign-ups are now available for 20-minute online consultations on the FamilySearch wiki page. Consultations with a library specialist are held using Microsoft Teams (step-by-step instructions are also available on the wiki page).

Savannah Larson, a FamilySearch research consultant helping with the online consultations, said the purpose of offering the online meetings is to help support people with their family history — no matter where they are located or where they are in their research.

“The idea with these consultations is that we teach these patrons how to find things for themselves,” she said. “I hope they gain experience and confidence with their own research, so we can be there as a guidance when they need it, but they realize that this is something they can do.”

Consultations are currently offered in English and Spanish. Larson said they hope to add more languages and involve missionaries and volunteers in offering help.

Regularly Scheduled Live Webinars

The Family History Library continues to offer free live webinars in English and Spanish. The subject matter changes frequently and no registration is required.

In June, topics included research help for Spanish, Dutch, Nordic and English records.

The following webinars will be offered in July:

  • El Árbol Familiar ¡Hay Una Aplicación Para Eso! (July 14, 11 a.m. MDT)
  • Enderezando las Ramas del Árbol Familiar (July 28, 11 a.m. MDT)

Visit the FamilySearch wiki page or for more information and links to the webinars.

Enhancing the Help Center

All previously recorded webinars and classes are available for free in FamilySearch’s Help Center.

The Help Center currently has more than 1,200 classes and can be a great resource for those looking for help with a specific topic or country, Turner said.

An update to the Help Center is expected to be released later this month. “It’s going to be a new interface so it will be easier to navigate,” he said. “We’re also enhancing the search engine optimization so that classes are easier to find.”

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