A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Posts Tagged ‘local history’

FEATURE | Quintuplets and a Barber’s Memory: It’s All Local History to Me!

As a local history librarian, I read with great interest that Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been amassing video interviews of music legends for an ongoing oral history project. It is encouraging to learn that they, too, recognize the value of this preservation format in collecting first-person history. With greater interest, I read further that they recently inter­viewed four greats together: Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino. But they ran into some difficulty. Little Richard dominated the interview, and they had to tape the other three individually the next day. These museum curators were unaware of the dangers of the multiple-person interview. Less can equal more. Oral histories are most effective when the interviews are one-on-one. How do I know this, and why is it of interest to me? Over the past ten years at Way Public Library (WPL) in Perrysburg (OH), I have conducted dozens of oral history interviews.

people playing video game

Minecraft as a Historical Education Tool

Minecraft has taken over many households and libraries over the past several years. “To date, Minecraft has been downloaded more than 60 million times and is so popular that videos just discussing the game on YouTube attract 2.4 billion views.”[1] Libraries have incorporated this game into many of their yearly programs, and sessions about the innovative game have been given at conferences across the country.

Preserving History

As anyone who has performed genealogy or local history research can attest, there are often realms of the past that we did not know about, have forgotten, or simply do not understand. Nevertheless, it is imperative to determine how this type of local-level information can be stored and made accessible.

library sign

StoryCorps: Another Institution that Values Stories

StoryCorps, just like libraries, understands the power of stories.

According to the organization’s website, StoryCorps’s mission is, “We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.”