Genealogists love to spend hours researching their ancestors. Members of the genealogist’s family, however, might think genealogy is boring. FamilySearch has found an innovative way to make genealogy fun for everyone.
The FamilySearch Discovery Center is located in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is adjacent to Temple Square. FamilySearch is a non-profit family history organization. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the primary benefactor. With that in mind, it is easy to see why the FamilySearch Discover Center is located where it is.
Leaders of the LDS Church designed the FamilySearch Discovery Center with one question in mind. What does it take to get more people involved in their family history? Fox News posted an article titled “LDS Church’s new Family Search Discovery Center offers high-tech, interactive approach to genealogy” on February of 2015.
It includes some quotes from Dennis Brimhall, the Managing Director for the LDS Church’s Family History Department. He said: “What we realized is that our family history centers, to a certain degree, become like computer laboratories, so people went, and they weren’t family-oriented, and they just… people did research”.
The FamilySearch Discover Center was designed with the patron in mind. Dennis Brimhall said: “It’s an engaging place for people to discover about their ancestors, that’s different from the old days where you’d sit down at a computer and go through a bunch of records in a library. …When we thought about it from the patron’s standpoint, what they wanted to see, they wanted something that was engaging, that was using technology, that they could see and touch, and have their kids see.”
As a result, the FamilySearch Discovery Center has interactive stations. Some of them have large touch screens that both adults and kids can utilize. People can learn about the meaning of their surname. They can find out what was going on in the year they were born. They can interact with a map that shows where their ancestors were born.
In addition, there is a state-of-the-art recording booth for families or friends to use together. The group can talk about their photos or share their stories. Individuals can use the recording booth to tell their own life story, in their own words.
It is suggested that guests at the FamilySearch Discovery Center do three things before arriving. One is to get a free FamilySearch account. Some of the experiences at the Center use information from a person’s FamilySearch account.
Two, they should have a list of basic information about family members and some photos of them. Three, it is recommended that people bring their own USB drive to save their recordings on. Guests will need at least a 4 gigabyte USB drive.
Image by Ken Lund on Flickr.
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