Monday, 11 January 2010

Microfiche to be withdrawn at ScotlandsPeople Centre?

I've just heard from a regular user at the ScotlandsPeople Centre that the use of microfiche back ups are apparently to be withdrawn from February. Whilst this has not been formally announced, if it is true, I think it would be a real pity, as they are a vital part of the offerings at the centre. Whilst most images can be accessed on the centre's computers, on my last visit in December I had to call up three separate fiche on that trip alone for images where there were problems. It is one of the reasons why I prefer to travel for two hours through to Edinburgh from Ayrshire rather than use the Strathclyde centre in Glasgow, where fiche backs ups are only held for the west of Scotland (the other reason being there's a KFC over the road in Edinburgh, and I love my KFC!)

I really hope it is not true, but if is, I would hope that an alternative system is in place for occasions where some images may still present problems. The fiche are no longer self-service, and it probably means that it would be a case of asking a member of staff to consult an original record if there was a problem, rather than to fetch a fiche. My only real concern would be if that meant it took longer for that problem to be resolved.

Meanwhile, the centre is advising caution with the current weather:

Despite the recent freezing conditions the ScotlandsPeople Centre has remained open for business. The Edinburgh weather is currently undergoing a thaw but forecasts indicate there is a possibility of further snow at some point. We would ask that customers take care when arriving and leaving the Centre during any adverse conditions. Remember, if you need to cancel a booking please telephone us on 0131-314 4300 or use the form or email address on our Contact page.

Keep well wrapped up!

Professional genealogical problem solving and research


hummer said...

Is there a way for the people to make a public protest and request that they keep them?

Chris Paton said...

I think it should be confirmed first, but the centre's contact details are available via its website.

The Professional Descendant said...

That would be a pity!

I've had staff bring me an original R.C.E. book when I couldn't read the number to order the fiche and it was surprisingly quick.

However, my fear would be that if the microfiche weren't available staff would simply tell people they had to make do with the digital image and you'd need to be very persistent to get an original register brought out.

On the subject of R.C.E.s I hope they aren't considering withdrawing those fiche as there are so many entries that aren't associated with the original registration on the current computer system!

Chris Paton said...

Time will tell!