Alerting Family Search Patrons of the Status/Availability of Books and Other Materials
I visited the Family History Center in Salt Lake today specifically to research information from 3 books which cannot be viewed online because of copyright issues. You can appreciate how very frustrated I was to have traveled no small distance only to be told that all books were in off-site storage and would only be a available if I ordered them first! There was nothing in the Family Search website to indicate these volumes were not sitting on the shelf in the FHC, available for research!
As absolutely wasted as the day was, battling traffic and taking time to travel to Salt Lake and back, imagine the poor souls who travel very long distances and at great personal expense only to be told what I was today! I refuse to believe that this is the very first instance of its kind!
Family Search seriously needs to provide an online symbol or highlighted text in the search area to indicate the volume(s) are not in the library and cannot be accessed. As a former manager of government customer service I can tell you that the current practice, of not updating these records properly, is a great disservice to your patrons and certainly reflects unfavorably on the Church and Family Search.
Any sort of a highlighted banner to provide the status of the material being sought out would manage people’s expectations and elevate their confidence and trust in your abilities to adequately communicate.
Please let me know if I need to provide more information or to further clarify this issue!
I am not connected with FamilySearch
There are some (general) Catalog entries for books which indicate "Off-site Storage" such as a random example https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/2390902 . Location given as Family History Library
It appears you first tried to access the books in the FS Digital Library where the access status was Protected. What was the description in the (general) Catalog for your books of interest?
FamilySearch has said catalog details have been locked for sometime as a new catalog system is being introduced. Perhaps your books of interest do not have up to date details;ls in the Catalog because of that.
It would certainly be helpful to have a note in the Digital Library books files about offsite storage. However, it appears to me that the Digital Library is a very low priority of FamilySearch, with seemingly no budget, and that programming changes have not been made for years. I think there is not much chance of even a small change being made.0
@JosephJohnston1 ( &, @MaureenE123 )
As an aside ...
I just found this out ...
It does not help, in relation to this matter ...
That Said ...
Certainly, worth noting for future reference ...
Here is a "Knowledge Article" in 'FamilySearch':
What are Notes or Film/Digital Notes in the catalog?
Where it states, among other things:
Location and Collection or Shelf—the location of the item in the Family History Library
- Off-site storage means that the item is in storage away from the library for various reasons. We cannot retrieve off-site storage books for public use.
Just for information ...
ps: I was advised through, the following (recent) post ...
The following page from the Family History Library webpages says
If a book in the Catalog is listed as "off-site," you can request for it to be sent to the Library. Please request the book at least 6–8 weeks before your visit. There is a link to click on which says "Order off-site books to the Library"
So it seems to me that there is an inconsistency in what is being advised which should be clarified and decided what is correct.1
@MaureenE123 Thank you for pointing out the inconsistency. We have updated the help article (it will take a while for it to re-publish because of an internal review process) and alerted support agents.0