ALA, StoryCorps receive IMLS planning grant to develop library outreach program

For Immediate Release
Thu, 10/13/2011

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CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in partnership with StoryCorps, announced that it received a National Leadership Grant of $33,968 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The funds will support development of a national initiative to bring StoryCorps’ interview methods and recording equipment to libraries as a springboard for programming and collaboration.

During the grant period, ALA and StoryCorps will work with a board of advisors, composed of representatives from libraries of various sizes, geographical areas and racial and cultural diversity to develop a program that will allow libraries to benefit from StoryCorps training and resources. The board of advisors will inform program development with consideration for the viability of the StoryCorps model and methods within libraries and for supporting libraries as they seek to encourage involvement among diverse audiences within their communities. The goal of the planning grant is to develop a replicable program that will bring StoryCorps recording equipment to libraries across the country, allowing the branches to raise their profile in the community through related programming and partnership.

The ALA Public Programs Office promotes cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service in all types and sizes of libraries. Successful library programming initiatives have included Let’s Talk About It reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, the Great Stories CLUB, LIVE! @ your library and more. Recently, the ALA Public Programs Office developed www.ProgrammingLibrarian.org, an online resource center bringing librarians timely and valuable information to support them in the creation of high-quality cultural programs for their communities. For more information about the ALA Public Programs Office, visit www.ala.org/publicprograms.

StoryCorps, a national nonprofit oral history project, aims to create a growing portrait of who we are as Americans. Founded in 2003 by MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Dave Isay, StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve their stories. StoryCorps has collected nearly 70,000 interviews from all 50 states.  Each interview is recorded on a free CD for participants to take home and share with their loved ones. With permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Millions of Americans listen to StoryCorps’ award-winning broadcasts each week on NPR’s Morning Edition. StoryCorps has published two best-selling books: Listening Is an Act of Love and Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps. StoryCorps' latest book, All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps, will be available February 2012. For more information or to listen to stories online, visit storycorps.org.