Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beyond the Walls of Your FHC

“We should not confine ourselves to the brick and mortar walls of our family history center,” said Art Johnson in his session at the 2011 BYU Family History Conference. Family history center staff members and family history consults should reach out to enrich the world. Johnson manages FamilySearch support. (That’s 1-866-406-1830 and support@familysearch.org, if you were wondering.)

FamilySearch is doing their part to reach out.

“The idea is to provide to the community help where they want it,” said Johnson. With so many people on Facebook and other social websites, it is natural to have a presence on each.


Illinois Genealogy FamilySearch Research Community New York Genealogy FamilySearch Research Community

FamilySearch is reaching out on Facebook where they’ve currently established research communities for nine states

and 6 countries

Research community pages join existing Facebook pages:

While FamilySearch is creating Facebook pages, family history centers (FHCs) are encouraged to create pages in the FamilySearch Wiki rather than establishing their own Facebook presence.


FamilySearch is also reaching out on Skype, where they’ve created a number of Skype chats for genealogical research.

Join a FamilySearch sponsored Skype genealogy research community

Johnson said that FamilySearch doesn’t make it a policy to run the communities, but to enable their existence.

I’m not familiar with Skype but it appears there is no way to search for group chats. Apparently, you must contact a creator or host who adds you to the group. Instructions on joining one of the FamilySearch Skype chats are found in the FamilySearch Wiki article, “Join a Skype Research Community.”


FamilySearch is also reaching out via Twitter, where it posts news items using the username @FS_News.

FamilySearch is on Twitter


FamilySearch recently announced a newly redeveloped YouTube channel.

FamilySearch YouTube channel

And You

Staff members at smaller family history centers often find themselves with no patrons to help. Johnson encouraged family history consults to reach out and help via these social networking websites as well as FamilySearch’s own Forums and Wiki.

There is a mistaken idea that we as centers, as consultants, are not supposed to interact with societies. Not true! We have different purposes but we can help one another.

“Take an opportunity to turn your work inside out,” said Johnson. “Become more extraverted in helping others.”

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I am one of the admins for the NC Facebook Genealogy Research Group and I have enjoyed the interactions we have had there. I do admit I have been surprised to not see more FHL consultants involved, but hopefully with time, they will! :-)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.