Before we wave farewell to February and the flurry of travel to and from Salt Lake City for RootsTech, the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Management Conference, and various other personal and/or sponsored research trips to Salt Lake City, I have to mention just few more highlights that can’t be overlooked.
It didn’t happen in the Salt Palace Convention Center or in the classrooms at SLIG. It wasn’t part of a gaggle of genealogists gathered for dinner or lunch.
Salt Lake City is the Genealogist’s Disneyland because it is home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Family History Library, otherwise known as The FHL, a deep and rich resource of worldwide family history information open to anyone from anywhere in the world. Yes, open, free of charge, to researchers who are not church members, yet are encouraged and assisted by LDS volunteers and staff at this world-class facility.
Main door of the Family History Library reflecting a view of Temple Square across the street.
Each time I walked through the doors of the FHL I was greeted by friendly smiles and welcoming voices. And the thousands of genealogists visiting during January and February were greeted the same way. Unlike some libraries, museums, and other research facilities, there are no donation boxes, admission fees, or user forms to complete. The operating hours are expansive and the library is clean, well-lit, and well staffed.
The Family History Library truly is a special place.
- Thank you, FHL volunteers and staff for the many wonderful hours I was able to spend browsing in the stacks, at the film readers, and working at the library tables during the conference and institute weeks this winter.
- Thank you, young assistants in the ScanPro line worked so earnestly to make sure my scanned film was “picture perfect.”
- And, Thank You, LDS Church for your all-inclusive policy to open the Family History Library doors to all.
It can’t be easy to be a gracious host to over 22,000 visitors in one February week, or hundreds of avid researchers during an intensive institute, but the FHL does it well. Thank you.