Keene Valley Library celebrates the success of project, replicated across the country
Town of Keene residents have exceeded this summer’s 200-story goal for stories available through Adirondack Community: Capturing, Retaining, and Communicating the Stories of Who We Are.
Adirondack Community, sponsored by the Keene Valley Library, is a multi-year local history project that collects and organizes 3- to 5-minute audio stories and related photographs from town of Keene community members through an online platform to share the rich social and cultural history of this community located in New York state’s Adirondack Mountains. Stories are used in classrooms from elementary school through college. In a town of about 1,100 residents, over four times that number of users have clicked on the website to listen to stories and podcasts have been listened to almost 1,400 times.
Since project launch in June 2019, volunteer storytellers have recorded over 220 stories. The celebration planned for late this month has been postponed due to current COVID-19 concerns.
“We are preserving individual and community stories before they are lost,” Keene Valley Library Director Karen Glass said. “This project brings us closer and helps us stick together through tough times like the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We owe our success to our volunteer storytellers,” volunteer Jery Huntley, Adirondack Community project coordinator, said. “Because of them, communities from Igiugig, Alaska, to Tremonton City, Utah, to our neighbors next door in Lake Placid are creating their own story projects based on ours. Adirondack Community serves as the model for OurStoryBridge at www.ourstorybridge.org, a free resource and tool kit for producing crowdsourced, community, online story projects emphasizing audio history collecting and sharing.”
As we commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene, a collection of related stories and podcasts are posted, including stories by local residents Lorraine Duvall, Martha Gallagher, Linda Deyo, Marcia Mosey, Dan Mason, Jon Brown, Val Warner, Linda Rasco, and Naj Wikoff. The stories and podcasts are available at www.myadirondackstory.org, sorted into eight categories — the most popular of which are People, Catastrophes (where the Tropical Storm Irene stories reside), Outdoor Activities, and Arts and Culture.
Keene residents and visitors may continue to email [email protected] to share their stories year-round, about life and times, past and present, in the town. Adirondack Community is funded by local residents using Memria.org. Visit www.myadirondackstory.org, and follow the project on Facebook at Adirondack Community Story Project for twice weekly curated stories and project news. To learn more about starting a story project on our model, visit www.ourstorybridge.org.