[APG Public List] the new vs. the old Family History Library catalog

Jill N. Crandell jncrandell at broadweave.net
Mon Nov 8 20:21:23 MST 2010


Harold,

 

I agree with Helen, send feedback. I would also recommend attending the
classes at major conferences where the FamilySearch people are presenting
and ask questions and give them feedback. I would also go to the booths in
the vendor areas and give feedback. I don't work for or with them. I teach
at BYU and we have faculty meetings that FS representatives occasionally
attend to keep us current on what's happening. Believe me, the faculty let
them know our concerns over the catalog! However, we were shown things that
are to come, and I was much more comfortable with what I was seeing there. I
also expressed concerns about catalog titles. It seems silly to me to have
some census records listed with the year first and others with the country
(U.S.) first. I also mentioned that the random listing order should at least
be alphabetized! Even though you receive form letters in return, the
messages are being received and read. The more feedback they receive from
researchers, the more the programmers will need to meet the researching
needs-in my opinion.

 

It is my understanding that there has been a significant change in the way
the programming is being done from the pilot version to the beta version.
Because of that, the beta version is not yet up to the level of the pilot
version with the new programming. As the process progresses, the beta
version will pass the pilot version and become more powerful. Like I said, I
don't work for them. I may be misunderstanding some of this, but this is the
impression that I had.

 

I don't have answers, and I do have concerns with the current catalog, but I
think the vision we were presented is going in the right direction. My
impression at the time was that all of the power and features of the old
catalog will be brought into the new catalog, it's just going to take time.
I hope my impression was correct. Feedback is the key, because the biggest
issues will be resolved sooner than things that people are not complaining
about. I just thought it would be good to let you all know that FamilySearch
does not intend to leave the catalog the way it is. It's a work in progress
and it's moving in a better direction.

 

Jill

 

  _____  

From: Harold Henderson [mailto:librarytraveler at gmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2010 6:57 PM
To: Jill N. Crandell
Cc: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Subject: Re: [APG Public List] the new vs. the old Family History Library
catalog

 

Jill --

I understand about beta sites and pilot sites. What I find extremely
worrisome is that what I have seen of beta is *less user-friendly* than the
Record Search pilot site. I have expressed this opinion, and got back a form
letter telling me how much more "powerful" Beta would be. I was not, and am
not, reassured -- I am deeply worried.

There are non-programming issues as well, such as mistitled databases. "Ohio
Tax Records 1800-1850" as far as I can tell is based on record sets that run
1816-1838, and for a number of counties not all of even that run is
available, but there is no indication of what the underlying information
base is or how much of it has been completed.

These are flaws that I associate with for-profit corporations managed by
CEOs who know more about Wall Street than genealogy. From my own personal
research experience, I am very worried about where FamilySearch is going,
and would appreciate any advice from you as to what concerned people can
actually do about it -- such that we can actually be heard by people who
will understand and who have the power to turn this great ship around.

Harold



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