Digital Access to Replace Microfilms

The FamilySearch.org has announced that after August 31, 2017, you will no longer be able to order microfilms at your local Family History Center. The good news is that they are attempting to make their collection available via digital access. The bad news is that they don't anticipate having their collection completely digitized until some time in 2020.

How will this work? Portions of their collection are already publicly available for browsing by users at home. In some cases, no login is needed. Other portions of the collection require logging in at FamilySearch.org but you can still browse from home. Still other portions of the collection will only be available by using a computer within a Family History Center (just like you had to use microfilm within the library). Cooperating organizations also have special access presumably to the material they have provided. The different levels of access are due to privacy and contractual stipulations.

FamilySearch.org has prioritized the digitization of often used collections over seldom used films. While seemingly logical, not all films within a larger 'often used collection' get used. A better approach while the microfilm loan system was still in place would have been to prioritize the digitization of any film a patron ordered-- it has higher demand than other films just sitting in a drawer.