I think having a FHC in the area depends on a lot of things,..... but I
do believe a lot comes down to "cost efficiency", in other words do they
have enough interest to keep it open and operate not at a loss. Every
FHC has to do a report periodically on who uses it and whether they are
church members or not. I used to help with ours and in Mobile we were
always at least 3/4 non members and 1/4 members using it. (I won't go
into the recent difficulties with a new director and his plan to
increase church member involvement, which is definitely not working.)
Those reports were submitted to SLC for their knowledge and use....
which leads me to believe that is part of how they know if they need
another in the area or if one is not feasible any longer.
Again, all I'm saying is that to me it's a larger decision than just
'wanting' one there. The LDS are -not- making a profit off the
microfilms etc, they are not a commercial entity as some genealogy
companies are who charge to view databases even on line. A new
microfilm/fiche copy machine like the one our FHC was considering (or
rather wishing for, as ours has died and been resurrected several times)
costs over $3,000. Consider what is in a FHC, computers, CD sets,
microfilm and microfiche readers, plus the usual office stuff, desks,
filing cabinets, sets of microfiche..... it's not cheap to equip a new
FHC. Equipment is alloted based on useage and hours open. They also have
to pay electic bills and such also.
Now, we're probably boring the majority of the listmembers with
this..... so maybe it's best if we let the discussion lag, or correspond
in private. I certainly don't want to turn anyone off with this
"thread", tho I do think it has genealogical merit as it helps everyone
understand just how important those records and the FHCs are (I hope).
Maura Petzolt Mobile Alabama USA
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