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Family History Library set to reopen with some changes

The research center took advantage of COVID-19 closures to remodel.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Family History Library will begin a phased reopening July 6 with limited hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours will expand from there, so check the Family History Library website for the most current visitor information.

When the Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City reopens Tuesday, July 6, visitors will find that it’s not quite how they remember it.

The Family History Library, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the church has taken advantage of that time to remodel, adding upgraded technology, better lighting, new desktop book scanners, expanded room for interactive experiences and more, according to a recent FamilySearch blog post.

The Family History Library will begin a phased reopening July 6 with limited hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours will expand from there, so check the Family History Library website for the most current visitor information.

Local FamilySearch family history centers and libraries will open based on the directions of ecclesiastical leaders and government guidelines. Remote services are still available.

According to the blog post, each of the library’s five floors has been reorganized to improve space and help visitors find what they’re looking for.

On all floors, reference desks have been moved across from the elevators, and new desks also better accommodate guests, according to guidance from the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The remodel also added “significantly more” bookshelves to accommodate over 40,000 volumes, the blog post states.

Many visitor computer stations now feature two or three monitors, and all stations accommodate guests’ laptops. Up-to-date microfilm readers and scanners now function with the computers at many visitor workstations so that guests may examine books and microfilm, and make digital image copies at their stations, rather than going to a designated scan or copy area.

Other changes include redistributed computer stations to make room for expanded research materials and an expanded break room with a small kitchenette and ice machine for guests.

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