Today I finally visited the local Family History Center for the first time. With the FHC located only three miles from my house, I'd been procrastinating, but finally visited today with my mom.
This particular location has a dedicated entrance for the FHC at the back of the main building. There was a sign next to the door and a call button for someone to come let us in.
The main room for the FHC was only about 10 feet by 10 feet and had four computers along the walls. When we entered, three of the computers were in use. It appeared that there were two volunteers/instructors there, but they were both helping others. When we said that we'd never been before the folks looked a little concerned. It was clear that they were helping folks who had no experience even reading a census form. They were obviously worried that we would need the same level of help and they were already busy with others.
At that time though, an elderly lady came in. She said that she usually worked there on Tuesday and was up there to help someone else, but could help us until that person arrived. We told her that we were already experienced with genealogy research and wanted to order some microfilm. She walked us through that and we chatted a bit. She said that she was very surprised at how busy they were today and that often there were no researchers there at all. It also turns out that she had attended the Family History Expo and we chatted about some of the classes we'd attended.
Due to how busy they were, I was unable to find out what, if any, materials they had on site. I did notice the microfilm room, which had between four and six machines, with two of them in use by other researchers (so that's six other folks up there doing research total). The three rolls of microfilm that I ordered will be ordered tomorrow and I was told to expect them in two to three weeks. Hopefully when I go back, they won't be as busy and I'll be able to learn more about the materials that might be available onsite.