The McLean County Public Library has joined in on the community story project, OurStoryBridge.
The goal of OurStoryBridge is to preserve and circulate local audio stories, past and present, through accessible online media, according to its website.
Aimee Newberry, director of MCPL, said Jery Huntley from the Southern Adirondack Library System in New York came up with the online storytelling project.
“I think it’s a really cool thing to preserve your local history,” Newberry said. “There’s a lot of history in McLean County and a lot of history in Livermore.”
As of Monday, more than two dozen stories have been uploaded to the project online, which include photos and audio.
“It gives people a sense of community and belonging, and this is a way to help record that,” Newberry said. “Everybody is here for a reason. I think this is a great project.”
MCPL’s version, OurMcLeanStory, includes topics such as military service, daily life, arts and culture, outdoor activities, community and people.
“I saw a presentation at a conference we attended by (Jery) and thought it was something we needed to do,” Newberry said. “We have tried a thousand different platforms out there to do oral histories.”
OurStoryBridge is working on offering a teacher’s guide where educators can use the oral history videos to teach students.
States from New York to Oregon have utilized this project within communities, making their stories accessible for anyone to listen to at no cost.
The platform is cloud-based, making the stories accessible as long as the website is active. The project is continuously ongoing, so residents or former residents are able to upload audio any time.
The library has a sound studio set up in the building for contributors to come in and record stories, but there’s also an option to do it from home.
For more information on OurMcLeanStory, visit www.ourmcleanstory.com/#hear-our-stories. To reserve a time to record, call MCPL at 270-278-9184. To submit a recording, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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