Friday, August 23, 2019

Familysearch at the Lake

Several months ago members of the Lake Macquarie Family History Group (LMFHG) told me that they had discussed with a local library a suggestion for the library to become a about Familysearch Affiliate Library. What a brilliant idea!

The Familysearch site states that "Affiliate libraries (whether public, special, or university) have access to FamilySearch’s digital genealogical collections that are otherwise accessible only through a FamilySearch family history center. FamilySearch also provides its affiliates with the latest tools and tips for genealogy reference librarians."

Having affiliate status allows libraries to provide access to additional digital records not available outside a family history centre or an affiliate library. Affiliate libraries have access to around 400 million original records in digital format. These records provide images and indexes that assist family historians to identify ancestors to add to their family trees. Having access to these resources in areas distant from The Family History Centers run by The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints is of great benefit to family historians.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City
Last week I was speaking with a member of  LMFHG who told me that the local library's application for Familysearch Affiliate status had been successful and the it was now available through the Speers Point Branch of Lake Macquarie Libraries

I was keen to check this out as I have a list of Familysearch resources I cannot view from home but can access in an affiliate library. I had a look on the library's website and could find no mention of this news, I looked in the library catalogue and on their family history page and their ecollections page but could not find mention of this important new resource.

As I was in the vicinity of the Speers Point Library yesterday I dropped in and discovered this framed certificate sitting by the computers.

In speaking with a member of library staff I found that the busy Council's IT department has not yet had time to add the Familysearch link to the page of family history databases on the library computers but that the service has been extensively tested and members of the public are available to access it during library opening hours. 

While it is disappointing that the library has not yet promoted the resource it was good to hear that this is in the pipeline. 

The best news for family historians in the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle area is that the Speers Point Library is now a  Familysearch Affiliate Library.


Jane Taubman said...

A bit far for me to go, but I think it's a great idea. Our local Family History Centre is only open on a Tuesday morning, so it's not a lot of help for people like me who are still working full time.

Rosemary said...

One branch of our local city-county library has become an affiliate. The best is that it is open 7 days a week, till 9pm Mon-Fri and Sunday afternoon.

GeniAus said...

Jane and Rosemary, I believe that having the affiliate libraries in public libraries is the way to go. Not much use in having them in genealogy society locations that are only open for a few hours a week or a month.


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