Large libraries, such as the Harold B. Lee Library (the Lee Library) at the Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, share the same challenges for researchers. The Library’s collections are spread over the huge physical area of the Library. The BYU Family History Library is actually not part of FamilySearch.org, although both organizations are sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although the BYU Family History Library is actually not an integral part of FamilySearch.org, the two organization cooperate closely. The volunteers who serve the patrons inside the BYU Family History Library are Church Service Missionaries for the Church along with also are designated as Family History Missionaries. There are also a smaller number of people who are volunteers along with also are not also missionaries. Because the BYU Family History Library is actually part of the Harold B. Lee Library, the Director of the BYU Family History Library along with also the staff are paid employees of the University. The Director is actually a University Professor.
the idea is actually important to understand these relationships when doing research inside the Library because of scheduling issues along with also the type of support available to researchers at any given time. For example, the volunteer missionary support staff serve each week divided into 16 separate, usually, a few-hour shifts. While you are doing research inside the Library, the support staff will be changing every few hours. In addition, the Lee Library has very extended hours, normally by around 7:00 a.m. until midnight six days a week. The main Lee Library is actually closed on Sundays yet the BYU Family History Library is actually open on the first along with also fourth Sundays of each month except for holidays along with also school schedules. Let’s just say of which the schedule of the Library is actually very complicated along with also even the staff along with also missionaries can get confused sometimes. just for This kind of reason, the idea is actually very important to check the Library schedule online before planning a visit. Finding the schedule on the Lee Library’s website is actually usually a challenge. Here is actually the link along with also if you are going to the Library, the best way to find the schedule is actually to do a Google search for the idea.
Here is actually a sample of a current Library schedule.
You might notice a few anomalies such as the Lee Library opens on Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. rather than 7:00 a.m. The BYU Family History Library is actually open during the general operating hours of the Lee Library, yet the volunteer/missionaries are only there by 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday along with also by 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays along with also by 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays along with also as I mentioned, the BYU Family History Library is actually open on the 2nd along with also 4th Sundays for classes except when the idea isn’t.
REMEMBER: The Library schedule will change for holidays, the school academic calendar along with also additional scheduled activities. For example, during the summer, BYU hosts many huge seminar activities such as Education Week along with also the BYU Conference on Family History along with also Genealogy. These events along with also many others may alter the schedule of the Library including the BYU Family History Library.
If you are looking for specific help with your genealogical research, the idea is actually also a Great idea to contact the BYU Family History Library in advance along with also see if there is actually someone who will be available to help with your particular needs. There are a large number of country along with also area specialists who can help you with your research yet because of the schedule of the Library, they may not be on any one particular shift. In some cases, you can make an appointment to meet having a specialist.
By the way, the Library is actually not at all unique in having such a complex schedule. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah also incorporates a complex schedule along with also expert help also depends on of which schedule along with also the availability of any one individual. In my experience, having worked in along with also with many libraries, a researcher will face exactly the same issues in every library.
The next challenge for researchers is actually to determine the availability, content, along with also location of the Library’s collections. The main entry to the collections is actually the Library Catalog. The Lee Library Catalog is actually online along with also contains almost all of the Library’s collections along with also resources. I say “almost all” because, in any library, there are always resources of which are not fully cataloged. There is actually no substitute for “poking around” inside the Library’s collections along with also looking for additional resources depending on access along with also availability. the idea is actually also a Great idea to ask a lot of questions along with also find the people who possess the experience. In my experience with libraries around the U.S., I have been told of which certain items I requested were not in a library only to find out of which they actually were there all the time.
today, because the BYU Family History Libary is actually part of the larger Lee Library, not all of the family history or genealogy related materials are located inside the family history part of the Library. In fact, pertinent research materials are scattered across most the collections of the Library along with also could be on any floor along with also in any section of the Library. In essence, when you go to the BYU Family History Library, you are definitely working with the entire BYU library system. the idea is actually also a Great idea to realize of which the Library is actually physically definitely big along with also has multiple floor levels. You might end up doing a significant amount of walking to find all of the pertinent materials.
Even before you go to any large library, you should become very well acquainted with the library’s catalog. Spend some time looking up possible research topics yet always keep in mind of which there may be more resources inside the library than you can easily find inside the catalog. If you find one item of interest inside the catalog, the idea is actually a Great idea to search the physical area around where of which item is actually located for additional items. The Lee Library catalog incorporates a feature incorporated inside the online catalog of which allows the researcher to do a “virtual” search of the shelves around any item found. Here is actually a screenshot showing the virtual shelf feature. The feature is actually called “Browse nearby items.”
I searched for “Grayson County Texas History” along with also then clicked on the “Browse nearby items” feature. Here is actually a screenshot of my initial search with an arrow pointing to the browse link.
The browse feature lets you search up along with also down to see adjacent items. In This kind of case, I see several additional interesting items. When you go to the physical shelves, you can then see the actual items.
In my next installment, I will begin to explore some of the unique genealogical resources found the inside the Library.
The previous post in This kind of series.
Unique Genealogical Highlights of the Brigham Young University Family History Library — Part Two