You may know of StoryCorps, the amazing oral history project started 12 years ago whose “mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives.” (http://storycorps.org/about/). You may have heard the weekly StoryCorps segments on NPR. But did you know they recently created a new app?
StoryCorps is a public service that revolves around collecting stories from as many people as possible. StoryCorps has been busy collecting over 50,000 interviews and partnering with multiple institutions, including libraries. These oral histories are recorded and then cataloged by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
StoryCorps has developed a new app that puts the power of their mission and organization into the hands of anyone with a smartphone. Instead of being limited to where the StoryCorps booths and interviewers set up to capture stories, people’s voices and stories can be captured anywhere. This increases the diversity and volume of stories collected. How can libraries use this app? Could storytelling and recording be part of the services offered? Is this a service already being offered at your library? Libraries are the centers of their communities, and what better service to offer; capturing oral histories. The StoryCorps app makes it possible for libraries to promote the collection of oral histories. This is app can enhance existing storytelling programs at libraries, like the Story Catchers program at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, by providing a nimble and easy-to-use tool. This app provides the opportunity for technology to increase and foster social interaction and community building. Libraries are the center of their communities, and storytelling is a powerful way to engage with the community that the library serves.