AASL Partners with StoryCorps to Launch StoryCorps Connect and Bring Individuals Together

For Immediate Release
Thu, 05/28/2020


Jennifer Habley

AASL Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)



CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is partnering with StoryCorps to launch StoryCorps Connect. The new free platform allows Americans to conduct and record StoryCorps interviews remotely. AASL encourages school librarians to utilize the technology to support learners in connecting with others amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and, in the process, to contribute to the creation of a unique first-person historical record of this unprecedented crisis.

“We at AASL are thrilled to partner with StoryCorps,” said AASL President Mary Keeling. “This platform empowers our learners to reach out to family members to record first-person narratives about the pandemic. As they inquire into the life experiences of their loved ones, they will be curating primary source material that will be invaluable for researchers in the future. School librarians can also use this platform to interview educators and fellow librarians about how we adjusted our practices to transform learning while schools have been shut down.”

StoryCorps Connect is a public service platform to bring people together amidst a global public health crisis. StoryCorps Connect uses advanced online videoconferencing technology and wraparound instructional tools to give participants a free, high-quality platform to record StoryCorps conversations remotely. The organization began developing StoryCorps Connect in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, motivated by the belief that at this time of physical separation, StoryCorps can provide a critical public service to increase connection to others and reduce the impact of isolation.

Dave Isay, Founder and President of StoryCorps, said, “Social distancing is the exact opposite of the StoryCorps ethos, which strives to bring people together and acknowledge and celebrate our common humanity. At this time of physical separation, the StoryCorps interview methodology is a more essential tool than ever before for bringing us together.”

StoryCorps is the national non-profit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of people of all backgrounds and beliefs. Conversations recorded are preserved for future generations at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and become instantly accessible and shareable through the StoryCorps Archive. Founded in 2003, StoryCorps has brought more than 600,000 Americans together—two at a time—to record intimate, face-to-face conversations about their lives, create human connection, pass wisdom from one generation to the next, and leave a legacy for the future. It is the largest single collection of voices ever gathered.

StoryCorps is working with national partners, including AASL, and with public media organizations, school districts, teachers, and others across the country to bring StoryCorps Connect to the American people, and to call on the country to honor the stories of our elders at this momentous point in our history. While StoryCorps is a U.S.-based effort, StoryCorps Connect interviews can be conducted by anyone, anywhere in the world.

To assist school library professionals in the usage of the site, AASL and StoryCorps collaborated to produce the webinar “How to Use StoryCorps Connect as a School Librarian.” During the webinar, Isay and members of the StoryCorps team share how to effectively record a StoryCorps Connect interview and how to use StoryCorps Connect to engage the school community. The archive is freely available on the AASL Learning Library.

About AASL
The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

About StoryCorps
Founded in 2003 by Dave Isay, StoryCorps has given people of all backgrounds and beliefs, in thousands of towns and cities in all 50 states, the chance to record interviews about their lives. The organization preserves the recordings in its archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered, and shares select stories with the public through StoryCorps’ podcast, NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. These powerful human stories reflect the vast range of American experiences, wisdom and values; engender empathy and connection; and remind us how much more we have in common than what divides us.