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Bringing Records to the Users

I've volunteered at the local National Archives branch for over a year now. Over this time I have gained the acute impression of lament over the dwindling number of researchers and members of the public who make the trip out to the archives to do research. Indeed, it is not uncommon for me to enter a virtually empty research room during my Thursday afternoon visits.

What is seldom spoken of, but is vitally central to the issue, is the instant information gratification that the general populace receives from their increasingly ubiquitous internet connections. The reams of information available through Google, or the convenience of accessing Ancestry.com from home (instead of for free at the archives), keeps them at home and only adds insult to the injury of fewer patrons.