Family History Class in buildings with no FHC

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john84601
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Family History Class in buildings with no FHC

Postby john84601 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:50 pm

As it turns out, the only building out of the 5 in our stake without an FHC is the Stake Center. However, they have some donated computers which they use to teach a Familiy History class (not sure if this is during SS or not).

To the point... they have asked me to help "fix" them because they are running slow. I pulled the Dell service tags and one is 8 years old and the other is 13. I don't expect to be able to do much and intend to tell them that they are past "End of Life."

Moving forward, do any of you have bought computers for a similar purpose? Who paid for them (Stake, Ward, Donated, etc.). As an STS, do you support them?

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Re: Family History Class in buildings with no FHC

Postby lajackson » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:31 pm

john84601 wrote:As it turns out, the only building out of the 5 in our stake without an FHC is the Stake Center. However, they have some donated computers which they use to teach a Family History class. . . .

Moving forward, do any of you have bought computers for a similar purpose? Who paid for them (Stake, Ward, Donated, etc.). As an STS, do you support them?

Our new stake center will not have a Family History Center. We were told that members should do this work from their homes on their own computers, and that FHCs are no longer being built in new buildings.

Paying for or accepting donated computers to furnish an unofficial FHC provides ample opportunity to cross any number of policy lines. We encourage class members to bring or share laptops when we hold a Family History class.

Then (or even better before or instead of) we ask the Family History specialists to go into the member homes and work with each individual family one on one to teach Family History work. In the home, the family can use their regular computer if they do not have a laptop.

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johnshaw
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Re: Family History Class in buildings with no FHC

Postby johnshaw » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:51 pm

In our stake we created a new computer only FHC 8 months ago. If the stake president wants an FHC, and it qualifies, it will happen and you will receive a nice, new computer and copier.
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Re: Family History Class in buildings with no FHC

Postby jdlessley » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:52 pm

lajackson wrote:We were told that members should do this work from their homes on their own computers, and that FHCs are no longer being built in new buildings.

The first part of that sentence is interesting. My wife is a family history consultant and has been instructed to do what she can for members in their homes but that the FHC is a valuable resource for what cannot be done at home.

While doing family history work at home is quite easy to do these days there are some limitations that family history centers overcome for many members as well as for nonmembers. Access to certain web sites and other information is not readily available from home except through pay for service sites such as Ancestry.com. Some people cannot afford the fees for all the sites. Additionally, family history centers provide a public service that leads to missionary opportunities.
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Re: Family History Class in buildings with no FHC

Postby russellhltn » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:53 pm

lajackson wrote:Our new stake center will not have a Family History Center. We were told that members should do this work from their homes on their own computers, and that FHCs are no longer being built in new buildings.


While I have no doubt that some people in power believe this, I'd like to hear that from an authoritative source.

While the vision expressed above is certainly possible from a technological standpoint, there's contractual issues to be considered. A FHC has more resources available to it. The most notable is access to the library edition of Ancestry.com.

There may be contractual issues that prevent viewing certain FamilySearch items outside of a FHC. Currently they may be on microfilm, but even when digitized, it may not be available at home.

From a building standpoint, a FHC is just a room. There's little to keep it from being re-purposed when it is truly is no longer needed.
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Re: Family History Class in buildings with no FHC

Postby lajackson » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:04 pm

russellhltn wrote:
lajackson wrote:Our new stake center will not have a Family History Center. We were told that members should do this work from their homes on their own computers, and that FHCs are no longer being built in new buildings.


While I have no doubt that some people in power believe this, I'd like to hear that from an authoritative source.

We only have the disapproval letters from our formal request to go by, and this was the reason that was given. It appears JohnShaw has seen a different answer. Perhaps if we wait and ask later, the answer will be different.

I agree that there are things that cannot be done at home. A Family History Center does have resources available to it that will not be available any other way.

On the other hand, one of the buildings in our stake has a room set aside as an unofficial center, and they do not have access to things an official FHC has, either. So when they hold a Family History Class in their building, the only advantage they gain is the input the group brings, as opposed to the one on one help Family History consultants are able to give at home.

But they encourage each class member to bring their own laptop to the class, if they have one, and the old donated computers are disappearing one by one and not being replaced as they expire. They were once used for the Family Record Extraction Program.

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Re: Family History Class in buildings with no FHC

Postby Gary_Miller » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:14 pm

lajackson, how close to your stake is the closest official FHC. I was told years ago that FHC are usually provided based on the driving distance.

Back to the subject. If you look at the curriculum for SS family history class you will see that it mostly teaches the principles behind FH work with workshops ether in someones home or to the FHC to teach the software.

However, its been my experience that most stakes/wards seem think the class is to teach the software during SS as well. Hence we have STS keeping a hold of the older clerk, or donated, or even improperly purchased computers to put in buildings making an unofficial/unauthorized FHC using unauthorized computers.

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Re: Family History Class in buildings with no FHC

Postby russellhltn » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:25 pm

Gary_Miller wrote:I was told years ago that FHC are usually provided based on the driving distance.

IIRC, the criteria was more then 30 minute travel time. But that was before there was a hold put on new FHCs. (It was to concentrate on creating FHCs in other countries.) That may have been lifted, or taken on a case-by-case basis. I haven't heard any updates in quite some time. This was all pre-LDSTech.


Gary_Miller wrote:Back to the subject. If you look at the curriculum for SS family history class you will see that it mostly teaches the principles behind FH work with workshops ether in someones home or to the FHC to teach the software.

However, its been my experience that most stakes/wards seem think the class is to teach the software during SS as well.

I will agree with that and the problems it creates.

But there is a need for FHCs outside of any SS class.
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Re: Family History Class in buildings with no FHC

Postby Gary_Miller » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:53 pm

russellhltn wrote:But there is a need for FHCs outside of any SS class.

I would agree as long as they are official FHC. On the other hand the brethren are in charge and they know which direction we need to go so I will fallow them.

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Re: Family History Class in buildings with no FHC

Postby johnshaw » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:29 pm

russellhltn wrote:IIRC, the criteria was more then 30 minute travel time. But that was before there was a hold put on new FHCs. (It was to concentrate on creating FHCs in other countries.) That may have been lifted, or taken on a case-by-case basis. I haven't heard any updates in quite some time. This was all pre-LDSTech.


Rumors swirled and assumptions were made around the 'closing' of FHC's. There is no truth to the idea that FHC's are being discontinued, or not being created anymore. Along the Wasatch Front, particularly, and in heavily populated Mormon areas, FHC's were closed and consolidated into larger facilities (There is one in the Church's IT cubespace in) and several other areas. The closing of stake-specific FHC's (in the Wasatch and Mormon areas) was only because of consolidation. However, the rumormill produced a nearly solid belief all over the country. I continue to hear Stake Presidents who believe the church is 'phasing' FHC's out. When I became our STS and wanted to significantly impact our FHC's with time and money, our Stake President (brand new) had the idea that they were being discontinued, when questioned, he said he had just 'heard' that. So we investigated and Nobody in FamilySearch confirmed it. New equipment is being shipped to FHC's, updated equipment over a 3 year plan continue to roll out. You can even find a message in the HELP section of FamilySearch which is a Q/A from Marlin Jensen (former head of FamilyHistory) about the future direction of FHC.

Sorry, realize it is not the topic of the post, but it's important to make sure real information is out there and not some assumptions based on a series of events or acts.

But it may be that along the Wasatch Front that FHC's are not being approved anymore, but the explanation is because there are dedicated facilities that are multi-stake.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

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