Apr 14, 2023

The New Assistant Director at the FamilySearch Library

The following is a press release written by the FamilySearch Library:

The FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, the world’s largest genealogical library, is pleased to announce Debbie Gurtler as its new assistant director. She is replacing Lynn Turner, who became the new FamilySearch Library Director in April 2022. Gurtler is an accredited genealogist (AG®) with 5 credentials and has been with FamilySearch for 12 years. She is highly respected for her expertise in Latin American research and fluency in Spanish.

As the new assistant director, Debbie Gurtler will manage the day-to-day operations of the FamilySearch Library. She will oversee research specialists, the teams responsible for guest services, volunteer staff and training, online services, the FamilySearch Library web page, webinars, and online consultations.

“I am excited to assume this new role,” said Gurtler, “I’ve enjoyed working with Lynn [Turner] through the years, and I look forward to helping shape the future of the FamilySearch Library and its reach. As someone who has lived in many different areas of the world, I’m excited to explore ways we can more impactfully expand our expertise, services, and offerings to people throughout the world, not just those who visit us in person in Salt Lake City, Utah. I also hope to organize library teams in such a way to provide more leadership opportunities for our outstanding staff.”

Gurtler’s role will allow the library director to focus on the library’s direction, like strategic planning, alignment with FamilySearch initiatives and goals, facility upgrades, online services, and selecting industry affiliations.

Lynn Turner is happy to add Gurtler’s leadership to the library team. “Debbie is well-prepared to step into this position. She has served in various roles in the library and understands the library’s vision, purpose, and resources. Her research expertise covers broad geographical areas and has been honed over the years working with library guests and getting to know their needs. Debbie is a natural leader who appreciates and encourages the strengths and talents of her co-workers. She is enthusiastic about family history research and all the library offers to help our guests make personal discoveries. Her strengths will continue to be a big benefit to the FamilySearch Library and the genealogical community.”

During her employment at the Library, Gurtler has managed the Latin America, International, and Simplified Learning teams. Prior to this new assignment, she was the manager of the Latin American, and German and Slavic combined teams. As the FSL training coordinator, she oversees the training for volunteer staff.

Gurtler holds 5 Accredited Genealogist (AG) credentials with ICAPGen℠. Accreditation shows competency in genealogical research for various specialties. Debbie is accredited in research in the United States Mid-south region, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, and Chile.

She graduated with high honors from Brigham Young University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Family History and Genealogy. After working for 2 research firms, she was hired at the FamilySearch Library in 2011 as a Latin America research specialist. She became fluent in Spanish while living in Chile with her family. Debbie has taken research trips in the United States, Portugal, and Spain and is a popular presenter.

She is an Arizona native and the mother of 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren.

About the FamilySearch Library

The FamilySearch Library is the largest genealogical library in the world and the flagship library for FamilySearch International. Our guests visit from all over the world to discover their ancestors. The library’s collections represent more than 10,000 archives and repositories from more than 100 countries. We have everything you need to discover your family from friendly, knowledgeable staff, web-enabled computers, scanners, preservation services, and interactive discovery experiences.