We really love the new discovery centers and family history centers FamilySearch is doing! They are more interactive and allow families to connect in so many ways. I really wanted to go to the open house for the new one in Layton but something came up and we couldn’t make it. So we went on our own one day and they gave us a personal tour. My mom came with Adaline and me which was really fun.
The volunteers there are always so nice and they showed us everything they offer at the Layton Family History Center. Of course everybody loved Adaline as well! They have a lot of great things there at the center available to use, all of which is free. Some of them are good to schedule ahead of time because they are very popular. Of course they have computers to do family history online but they also have a variety of ways to connect with living family members and ancestors.
They have a little children’s play area where kids can color, dress up, and listen to family stories. They have a family room that you have to schedule ahead of time to use. It allows families to get together to do family history and be separate from the rest of the people there. This room also has the ability to transfer home movies from VHS to DVD. All of this is free to use but you have to bring your own DVDs to transfer onto.
They also have two recording rooms where you can take a family member and interview them in 10-minute increments with a really nice microphone and it will automatically upload to your FamilySearch account.
There are multiple touchscreen TVs in the foyer where you can log on to Familysearch and see your tree in a more interactive way. It shows you all the popular things that happened within your year of birth, a map with all of your immigrating ancestors, and it connects you to a service called Relative Finder which shows you famous people you are related to. These interactions really help people get excited about family history, especially youth.
They have three photo scanners where you can reserve one an hour at a time to scan high-quality photos quickly. They also have flatbed scanners at the stations for more fragile photographs and family heirlooms.
They also have a little area off to the side with computers and tables for laptops that is great to reserve for small groups like youth organizations or family groups that want to work on the computers together. There is even a small kitchen that you can reserve along with it in order to have a little food or snacks for your group.
They also have at least two classrooms down the hall full of computers that they hope to start having regular classes there for free.
On our tour, the director and his wife, Elder and Sister Elmore, came out to meet us. They especially loved that we brought our little baby with us.
Their hours, contact information, and more can be found on the FamilySearch Wiki. We will defintely be going back! We have an appointment to transfer home movies so stay tuned for that.