Lloyd Lewis Curator of Modern Manuscripts and Archives Newberry Library
Learn about different approaches to create and implement a digital community-driven story project from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and the Chicago History Museum. In response to the Coronavirus crisis, the Arlington Heights Memorial Library developed the “COVID-19 Story Project” and the Chicago History Museum designed “In This Together.” This presentation will show examples of how libraries of different types can create engaging community projects to capture voices in collecting a town’s local history, which can be replicable for other significant events. The Chicago History Museum launched In This Together (www.chicagohistory.org/documentingcovid19) on April 17th, 2020. This is an early attempt at rapid response digital collecting, and tools used were largely those already available. An embedded WordPress form and Box widget were used to collect community responses, then those were exported and saved in an Airtable spreadsheet. Curatorial and collections team members review the submissions weekly and choose which will go up on a Scalar digital exhibit. Promotion was done through usual museum channels, including our social media and “History at Home” newsletter, along with periodic media mentions in local newspapers and magazines. Gretchen Neidhardt and Julie Wroblewski will discuss creating something new like this as events were unfolding, along with shortcomings inherent in using existing resources and promotional practices. The Arlington Heights Memorial Library launched the "COVID-19 Story Project" (www.ahml.info/c19stories) in early April 2020, about three weeks after the shelter-in-place order was issued in the state of Illinois. It provides a platform for local residents to document their daily experiences in the pandemic, and encourages them to express their creativity as we deal with the new normal. Using the library’s current website, powered by Drupal, staff from the Programs and Exhibits department collaborated with colleagues in Digital Services, Info Services, Volunteer Services and ESL offices to formulate procedures, outreach strategies, and program opportunities to maximize the project’s impact. Jaymie Middendorf and Bill Pardue will share the considerations, workflow, and lessons learned from the implementation of the project. The team will also discuss the development of the accompanying digital exhibits using Scalar in partnership with the Illinois State Library.
Attendees will identify best practices in leveraging an organization's existing resources to create and implement a participatory project to encapsulate stories from their community.
Attendees will learn a basic workflow for transforming submissions into digital exhibits, including privacy, submission, metadata, and platform best practices and recommendations.
Attendees will discover techniques for conducting and collecting oral history interviews, including establishing, managing, and training a team of library volunteers to collect oral interviews.