Tuesday, May 19, 2015

You're a First Timer?

First time at Family History Library in 
Salt Lake City, UT

September 2009 was my  first trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City Utah.  I had so many questions.  I was apprehensive.  It’s like your first time jumping into a pool or first time behind the wheel of a car. It’s that FIRST time experience.

I was very lucky to meet up with San Diego Genealogical Society members, Donna and Nancy. I met them at the Salt Lake City airport and I said was, “This was my first trip and I didn’t know where to go or what to do.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll show you,” they said. And they did.  Nancy and Donna were helpful and so was the staff of the Family History Library. Really!!  Just ask.

The following are some suggestions:  
* Get a person to team up with you if you can. 
Narrow your search to something specific but bring other files/data. 
      *My husband had to FED EX some additional files. 
        It cost $$$

Allow for “weight” of files in your luggage.

Wear your society badge and a plastic lanyard card.  
     * The lanyard with a slit pocket is convenient for carrying a       copy card and your hotel room card.

     Pack light. Depending on the time of year you go wear layers.   
     On some floors of the library the air conditioning really works.

If you have a laptop bring it. I brought mine but did not use it.  Bring a memory card for saving data.  I did and did not use it.   
Bring a means to secure your computer to a library table leg.

     Attend the library orientation the first day.

Start your research on the first floor.

     Buy a copy card. You will need one-dollar bills for the copy machine. It is a bit tricky but you will get the hang of it. 
     * As you pay for lunch or dinner get one-dollar bills in change if you can.

Use the library computers.  Ask at any desk or any library volunteer wearing a badge.  Ask to see all the new things on the computers and in the library.

     If you bring a backpack or computer case keep it the size of your computer as the lockers will not hold larger computer backpack on wheels. A case about 17 “ high, 14.25 “ width and 8 “ deep will fit. 

You WILL WANT to use the lockers as you leave the library for lunch. A small, wheeled computer briefcase is a good idea. Files get heavy and cumbersome. 
The lockers use dimes.

     LEAVE THE LIBRARY for lunch at the cafeteria or Nauvoo Café or other Temple Square restaurant.

When you first go to the library go to the main desk and get a restaurant card (free). 
     * Eat in the cafeteria. Prime Rib on Thursday lunch.  Good $ deal on meals. 

     The trolley is free within a certain number of blocks. I used it frequently.

JB’s restaurant is connected to the hotel. 
     * The only “deal” is the breakfast buffet.

     There is a great market within walking distance. You have a refrigerator and microwave in your room so buy breakfast items (cereal, fruit, milk and juice) and have it with hotel coffee in your room.

     No smoking or alcohol on Temple grounds but off Temple grounds you can get a great meal and a nice glass of wine or mixed drink. 
Also there are package stores.

    Take time to smell the roses.  You will see the most beautiful array of flowers and plants. If you go late Fall, you will see a team of gardeners getting the trees ready with Christmas lights.

See the gift shop in the Family History Museum next door to the library. 
 * It is $$$$ and aimed toward the Mormon religion but I bought wooden toys for my great nieces and nephews.

     See the Mormon Tabernacle Choir practice Thursday evening and at the temple Sunday morning (9:00 am). 
     * Might as well, the library is closed on Sunday.

Ask. Ask anyone in the library or members or hotel.

Things I will do next trip:
1.     Buy/bring a magnifying glass.
2.     Ask more questions about recent technology.
3.     Eat evening meals in great Salt Lake City restaurants.
4.     Pack lighter as airlines charge per suitcase and per weight.
5.     Leave Salt Lake City for home early in the day.

Consider going on a research trip to Salt Lake City. 
You gotta go!

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