Monday, April 11, 2022

Lynn Turner Named New Director of the FamilySearch Family History Library

I received this information from FamilySearch today:

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 Lynn Turner Named New Director of the FamilySearch Family History Library

Lynn Turner, Director, FamilySearch Family History Library (2022)

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, 11 April 2022—FamilySearch announced that Lynn Turner is the new director of the FamilySearch Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. He replaces David E. Rencher, who will continue as FamilySearch’s Chief Genealogical Officer. Turner was previously the assistant director of the Family History Library (FHL). He’s an Accredited Genealogist (AG®) in Spanish research. He will assume his new responsibilities immediately.

In 2004, Turner received his Bachelor of Arts in Genealogy and Family History from Brigham Young University and began his career at FamilySearch. As an intern, he began merging technology with genealogy, testing the scanning software being developed to digitize FamilySearch’s 2.4 million rolls of microfilms (See “FamilySearch Completes Digitization of Massive Microfilm Collection”). Shortly after his internship, Turner worked in FamilySearch Research Support, where he oversaw all outside correspondence for Spain and Latin America for the Family History Library. It was during this time that he and others began to develop the foundation of the FamilySearch Wiki, a rich genealogical resource guide online with other 100,000 articles.

Turner said it has been a privilege to work under Rencher’s tutelage for 3 years, and he’s excited to direct the library’s operations during these fascinating times of change in the family history industry. As the Assistant Director of the Family History Library, Turner managed new updates to patron workstations and customer service experiences—like the launch of free online genealogy consultations and new web pages for the library. He worked with FamilySearch software engineers to develop systems and processes to streamline microfilm scanning, third party keying, and the publication of millions of images and indexed records online. He also worked extensively with co-workers in Latin America and Spain to increase access to more records in these areas.

David Rencher Continues as FamilySearch Chief Genealogical Officer

“Lynn has been incredibly prepared to assume this role, both as a manager and as a genealogist,” said David E. Rencher, FamilySearch chief genealogical officer (CGO), and the previous library director. “I have the utmost confidence that the Family History Library is in great hands—a terrific management team with a very dedicated staff and service missionaries looking for opportunities to exercise all of the quality standards for our guests.”

Rencher was the library’s director from 1999–2002, and 2018–2022. When asked about passing on his role as the library’s director to Turner and focusing more on his CGO commitments, Rencher said, “Personally, it has been very gratifying at this stage of my career to have had the opportunity to oversee the changes in the guest experience and the upgrades to the library facilities. Who knew that we would be able to make such incredible improvements during the closure of the facility—something that would have taken much longer otherwise.” Rencher is excited to spend more time in his role as FamilySearch CGO with special projects like the 1950 US Census and working with genealogical societies.

Future Plans for the FamilySearch Family History Library

Looking to the future, Turner said the library team will continue to focus on making resources more available globally through technology. “We are now sharing knowledge and support virtually, making more and more books available online through the digital library. We will also continue to leverage technology to enhance our in-person experience. As the field of genealogy shifts, we will adapt to help people discover, gather, and connect with their ancestors,” said Turner.

The Family History Library serves hundreds of thousands of patrons per year from all over the world. Millions more frequent the 5,000+ family history centers worldwide or do online research daily at FamilySearch.org.

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Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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