Family History Library Unveils Salt Lake City’s Newest Attraction
The popular Family History Library will open the doors to Salt Lake City’s newest attraction this week, the 10,139 square foot, interactive discovery experiences. The new attraction is located on the main floor of the library downtown and offers something for guests of all ages. The innovative technology and inviting activities are designed to introduce guests to the many fun facets of personal and family discovery. The doors officially open to the public on Wednesday, February 8, at 8:00 a.m. Admission is free to the public.
The Family History Library is one of the state’s top visitor attractions. The new discovery experiences will add to the library’s allure as a unique and exciting destination for locals, families, youth groups, and tourists of all ages visiting Utah or Temple Square from around the world. These experiences create an inviting environment for families to discuss their family history together in entertaining, unexpected ways.
The discovery experiences at the Family History Library has over 100 custom iPads, 44 touch-screen monitors, and 42 computers with research and discovery-experience capability. Six recording studios create free, high definition audio and video recordings that will preserve treasured family memories for future generations.
“The new discovery experiences at the Family History Library is a gathering place for families.There's an incredible spirit here. Guests and families come for fun, to expand their family tree, and to learn new tools, sources, and skills, and then return home to apply what they learn.”
Youth enjoy the life-sized, touch-screen computer monitors for some of the interactive stations. In addition, an enclosed space for parents with smaller children allows these parents to explore their family history while also being able to observe their children play. At a fun green-screen, guests can choose from a variety of themed backgrounds to create a lasting photo memory of their visit to the discovery experiences.
Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Family History Library yearly from all over the world. Elder Bradley D. Foster, chairman of the board of FamilySearch International, a nonprofit subsidiary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that operates the library and the discovery experiences, said that people worldwide naturally want to know who they are and where and how to connect.
“The new discovery experiences at the Family History Library is a gathering place for families,” said Foster. “There's an incredible spirit here. Guests and families come for fun, to expand their family tree, and to learn new tools, sources, and skills, and then return home to apply what they learn.”
Elder Foster said the engaging activities designed for these discovery experience are part of an organizational effort to create opportunities for families to make and deepen family connections and get to know their ancestors.
When entering the discovery experiences, guests are each given a custom iPad. They log into their free FamilySearch account and proceed to the various stations throughout the facility, where they enjoy interactive family history experiences personalized to each guest's family history in the FamilySearch.org Family Tree. For the best experiences, guests should create a free online account and build their family tree before coming. A guest account option is available for those who didn't create a FamilySearch account before arriving.
Tamra Stansfield, manager of the Family History Library, said the new transformations are designed to create unique, interactive, and immersive discovery experiences for visitors of all ages. The other four floors of the library will continue to offer the signature services for which the library is known among family history enthusiasts and researchers—billions of historical records and resources and personal assistance from genealogical specialists.
It is suggested that groups over 20 register online at FamilySearch.org/Discovery.
The FamilySearch Center and Discovery Center located in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City will remain open.
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,983 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.