Thursday, March 24, 2011

Utah South Area Gets Online Film Ordering

FamilySearch Film Distribution Center
FamilySearch Film Distribution Center
Image Property of Intellectual Reserve
Family History Library (FHL) online film ordering became a reality yesterday for many residents of Utah. Like the new FamilySearch tree, online ordering is being rolled out gradually to family history centers (FHCs) in the United States and Canada. Starting yesterday, patrons of FHCs south of "Point of the Mountain" were given the ability to place orders online. Point of the Mountain divides the Salt Lake Valley on the north from Utah Valley on the south.

The film ordering website is film.familysearch.org .

Anyone can place an order online after they sign up for an account. The website uses the same FamilySearch account as www.familysearch.org (the new website), the new FamilySearch tree (new.familysearch.org), FamilySearch Indexing, and the FamilySearch Wiki.

Films are not delivered to the patron's home, but to a family history center or library with FHL film-loaning privileges. The patron must choose a center before submitting an order.

Once online ordering is available to the area served by an FHC, the FHC will no longer accept in-person orders. Patrons can place an order from any computer with an Internet connection, such as those at home, work, a public library, or an Internet cafe. To avoid liability issues, patrons are not encouraged to use FHC computers. When FHC computers are used to place online film orders, to avoid identity theft, patrons should take care that staff members and other patrons are not watching.

An "Ordering Help" icon is available on the website. The available help resources include a User's Guide.

A credit card or PayPal account may be used to pay the rental fee. Payment must be made online. FHC staff can no longer accept payment.

Once submitted, the website provides status. The status can be:

  • Pending - The order has not been submitted, or payment could not be obtained through the account specified.
  • Processing - Payment has been received, but has not been released to Distribution's warehouse for shipment.
  • Cancel - The order was cancelled. The website states that you have 24 hours to cancel an order.
  • Requested - The order or item has been received by Distribution.
  • Backordered - The item was not available in inventory, so the request has been forwarded to the Granite Mountain Record Vault for production. The order may take upto six weeks.
  • Shipped - The item is inroute to the designated FHC. The patron will receive an e-mail alert at this time.
  • Received - The designated FHC has received the item. The patron will receive another e-mail alert.
  • Returned - The item has been shipped back to Distribution.

Rental fees (currently $5.50 in the United States) are expected to increase at some point because of the escalating cost of microfilm stock. FHC staff in one training meeting were told that because only one manufacturer still produces duplication film, the price is going up quickly.

The rollout of online ordering to the rest of the United States is expected to be complete during 2011.

6 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Is this online system tied into the available inventory at each FHC to avoid ordering film already at the FHC? As I am in Provo I tend to use the BYU FHL. It does not appear on the list, are the larger regional FHL locations a special case not yet available?

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  3. I also, use the BYU FHC. I have ordered film but I have not had to pay for them. I cannot order at the library anymore? I must pay now?

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  4. A miracle! I've wanted this so much and here it comes. Now when will they add an option to add the film to a digitization queue?

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  5. This may be good for some people but in our area the people are older and are not computer savy and are a little leary of ordering online. If the FHC can no longer order the films for these people, it would leave them without access to the records to search for their ancestors.

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