Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Adirondack story project creates free toolkit

“OurStoryBridge: Connecting the Past and the Present was released at www.ourstorybridge.org today at the annual meeting of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries. 

This free resource and tool kit for producing a crowdsourced, community story project is available for libraries and other organizations. Emphasizing audio history collecting and sharing, the website is designed to help organizations create their own story projects using “Adirondack Community: Capturing, Retaining and Communicating the Stories of Who We Are” (pictured here) as a model.

Driven by the ongoing success of Adirondack Community (www.myadirondackstory.org), the story project launched by the Keene Valley Library, OurStoryBridge brings into focus all the moving parts needed to make community story projects successful. Additionally, one-on-one assistance to communities considering or starting an OurStoryBridge project using the website’s tools will be provided at no cost.

The OurStoryBridge website hosts an extensive User Guide, intended to serve as an instructional reference as organizations consider launching and realizing an OurStoryBridge project for their communities. Among the additional tools are how-to videos and sample documents.

“We all have a story to tell, many stories,” said Karen Glass, Keene Valley Library director and sponsor of both projects. “Life is a narrative, woven out of experience and emotion. Think of OurStoryBridge as the loom on which the fabric of your community’s narrative comes together. Each thread, each story binds the fabric tighter and tighter, creating intricate linkages between individuals, groups, organizations, events, environments, locales and more.”  

Jery Y. Huntley, the volunteer manager who spearheaded both projects, describes OurStoryBridge as a user-friendly framework on which to mount a community’s story project.

“The shape this project takes and the content it captures and communicates remain yours to construct,” Huntley said. “We want to help. OurStoryBridge will guide you through how to collect the nuanced histories of your community, to preserve its stories and pass their characteristic wisdom from mouth to ear by going digital.”

“In its first fifteen months, Adirondack Community has collected 175 stories from 110 storytellers, produced nine podcasts, and given our community, young and old, a sense of local pride that has been especially helpful as we experience the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Bob Woughter, Keene Central School principal. “Through the years our students have participated in projects in which they collect oral histories from older residents, but many of those stories have been lost, unlike the Adirondack Community stories which are brief and on a website fitting the 21st Century.” 

For more information on Adirondack Community and OurStoryBridge, email [email protected] or call (410) 353-6372.

OurStoryBridge, at www.ourstorybridge.org, has been made possible by the Cloudsplitter Foundation, Adirondack Foundation, and community support. 

 

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