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!