Below is a press release I received from FamilySearch earlier today announcing a new director, Diane Loosle, for the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. GeneaBloggers had a chance to meet Diane last night at the Blogger’s Dinner hosted by FamilySearch. The projects she has her sights set on lead me to believe that she will be a great asset to the Family History Library. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
SALT LAKE CITY-FamilySearch today announced that Diane C. Loosle is the new director of its flagship Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. She will have the responsibility of leveraging the skills of the genealogical community more efficiently to meet the growing needs of a broader worldwide audience. Loosle is a 19-year veteran of FamilySearch, a professional genealogist, experienced research consultant, patron services specialist, and business leader. FamilySearch is a growing, worldwide nonprofit organization focused on providing quicker and more affordable access to genealogical records and related services.
Loosle says a top priority for her as director of the Library will be to study the role of the Family History Library and 4,700 satellite branches worldwide called, family history centers, and how to make them discovery centers for people of all ages, not just a research facility.
“Today, our research shows that the Family History Library and our centers are great places to do genealogical research. We need to figure out how to balance the needs of researchers while increasing appeal to those with other family history interests,” said Loosle. “You can’t attract a younger audience and offer the same experiences. We need to offer fun experiences and activities for the entire family that will increase love, appreciation, and understanding of their ancestors.”
In 2013-14, Diane says she has some very specific goals as the new director of the Family History Library:
- Become more family and youth-oriented through providing interactive, discovery experiences.
- Enhance the services of the library through new collaborative research areas and better access to research staff.
- Engage more patrons from the geographic community surrounding the library.
Don Anderson, FamilySearch Senior Vice President of Patron and Partner Services, said, “Diane is unique. She is an accredited genealogist that began her career helping patrons with their personal research in the Family History Library, and then she led out on new customer service initiatives. She also holds an MBA. So she understands business objectives, has great leadership experience, and has strong genealogical knowledge as a certified and accredited genealogist. Not only is she the first female director of the Library, she is one of the most qualified and capable to ever serve in this position.”
During her career at FamilySearch, Diane started helping library patrons as a research consultant. She then led the creation and expansion of new patron services initiatives, the development of the FamilySearch Wiki, and free online training content at FamilySearch.org.
The Family History Library serves 400,000 patrons per year. Sixty-one percent of those visitors stay for 4+ hours. Thirty-five percent stay for 8+ hours. Fifty-two percent are from outside of Utah. Millions more frequent the thousands of family history centers worldwide or do online research daily at FamilySearch.org.