Family History Library Celebrates World Traditions

“Family History Library Celebrates World Traditions,” Liahona, Apr. 2007, N5

Family History Library Celebrates World Traditions

Weaving a Scandinavian Christmas ornament and singing the Scottish version of “Auld Lang Syne” were just two of the December activities at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Those attending the free evening classes held from November 28 to December 22 learned about holiday traditions from various countries and ethnic groups.

Most of the short classes were planned and taught by natives of the different countries who discussed such subjects as December celebrations, food, decorations, and music. The classes were open to the public, and family activities were also offered.

Families were encouraged to make a children’s version of a pedigree chart. The children were asked to draw a picture of themselves, their parents, and grandparents on the chart. Everyone received a peppermint candy, and those families who could complete a four-generation chart received a pen imprinted with the words, “Family history is fun.”

Lists of ideas for family home evening and family history were available for families to take home. One paper explained how children and parents could interview grandparents.

Featured countries included Norway, France, Germany, Scotland, Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Denmark. Jewish and pioneer traditions were also discussed.

Diane Loosle, manager of novice services, said this is the first time the library has sponsored the event.

Sister Loosle explained that the activities were aimed at bringing people into the Family History Library who don’t normally come there. She said: “One of the library’s goals is to make coming to the library a better experience. We want people to come and find it is less complicated than they thought it would be.”

The Church’s main Family History Library is the largest library of its kind, and it is open to the general public at no charge. It is estimated that 1,900 or more patrons visit the library each day it is open.

Free classes are offered for those with varying experience, including novices, and 125 full- and part-time professional staff members are available to assist. Nearly 400 trained volunteers donate their time to help as well. For more information, visit www.familysearch.org.

Members gathered at the Family History Library during December to learn about the holiday traditions of different cultures. (Photograph by Craig Dimond.)