I’ve been to Scotland four times, Ireland twice, and Boston more times than I can count to track down my family, but I’d never been to Salt Lake City.
Fortunately, everything came together for me to attend Rootstech this year. Even more wonderfully, I flew out here on Sunday, so I had Monday and today to explore all the genealogical goodness before the start of the conference this year.
I’ll get to the Family History Library (FHL), but first…. the FHL closes at 6 on Mondays, so ~ being me ~ I headed over to the Salt Lake City public library yesterday eveing. It’s gorgeous! A well-planned out modern building ~ lots of light and glass, with plenty of space for books and tables to work at. Looks like some really well-thought out programming, as well, from the various brochures I saw. I think I might be in love 😉
The FHL is also amazing. I’m spoiled, having started my genealogy research with many trips to NEHGS in Boston, which has a tremendous collection, and now I work at the Maine State Library, which also has a fairly comprehensive collection about all things Maine.
I brought a couple of my more intractable genealogy research problems with me, to see if I could find anything on the two families. On these personal research tasks, most of my progress was in eliminating possible sources 😦 Oh, well!
The FHL is amazing, though ~ well organized, friendly staffing, clearly labeled, and easy to figure out. I really liked that it has all the glitzy ‘family history is fun’ stuff on the main levels, so that the other four levels are pretty much dedicated to research.
One of my pet peeves at a library (yes, I have several) is a lack of signs. Neither the FHL or the SLC public library had this issue! For an introvert like me, signs definitely beat having to ask a person where a room is or how to do something.
Another real plus: the staff seems well-trained. The people I talked to were not script driven ~ unlike the cable company, once they realized I wasn’t a beginner, they adjusted to what I was asking about, or called another staff member over who was more knowledgeable about the subject of my question. Over the years, I’ve been to too many libraries where that doesn’t happen.
I will brag a bit: MSL’s open stacks print collection on Maine family and local history is larger than the FHL’s!
The conference starts tomorrow ~ for some reason, night owl me signed up for a class (with an extra fee) at 8 a.m. I’ve tried to stay on eastern time so I might actually be able to stay awake and learn something 😉 Fortunately, Rootstech had early registration this afternoon, so I can just head directly to the class.