KEENE VALLEY, N.Y.— Town of Keene residents and guests will gather at the Keene Valley Library from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23 to celebrate the over 250 stories available through “Adirondack Community: Capturing, Retaining, and Communicating the Stories of Who We Are,” an OurStoryBridge project. All are welcome.
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, six times that number of users have visited the website to listen to stories. Adirondack Community is the model used by the national story project charitable nonprofit, OurStoryBridge Inc.
Since project launch in June 2019, volunteer storytellers have recorded over 250 stories.
“We are preserving individual and community stories before they are lost,” Keene Valley Library Director Karen Glass said. “This project brings us closer. We can listen to and enjoy each other’s voices, and connect with our shared memories. This has been especially true during the pandemic.”
“We owe our success to our volunteer storytellers,” said volunteer Jery Huntley, Adirondack Community founder. “Because of them, communities from Igiugig, Alaska, to North Hero, Vermont, and in between, including neighbors in the Adirondack Mountains, 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.”
Stories are added year-round. The complete collection is available at www.myadirondackstory.org, where stories are sorted into eight categories — the most popular of which are People, Catastrophes, Outdoor Activities, and Arts and Culture. This website also hosts 20 podcasts, compilations of stories with narration.
Keene residents and visitors may continue to email [email protected] to share their stories 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.
The Keene Valley Library, founded in 1885, provides a circulating collection and acts as a cultural center for the village’s residents and visitors to Upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains. The library’s mission is to connect people to ideas, experiences, information, and the community in a comfortable, welcoming setting. The library strives to do this by providing adults and children with a collection of current and relevant books, other media, and local Adirondack historical resources, providing an inviting and lively cultural center evolving as the community grows and technology advances. Learn more at www.keenevalleylibrary.org.
OurStoryBridge Inc. (www.ourstorybridge.org) is a national charitable nonprofit organization, originally a program of the Keene Valley Library, whose mission is to serve as a resource and tool kit for OurStoryBridge projects that preserve and circulate local audio stories past and present through accessible online media; to promote, build and assist with the deployment of these resources in communities across geographic, cultural, socioeconomic, racial and organizational strata; and to help strengthen these communities through sharing of their stories, including preserving the stories of older generations before they are lost, and encouraging younger generations to become engaged community members.
Photo at top: Banner announcing Adirondack Community with staff. Photo provided by Jery Y. Huntley.