Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oral History Programs

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a talk given by Barry Chad from the Pennsylvania department at CLP-Main. Mr. Chad has spearheaded several oral history projects here in Pittsburgh (see links below).

With "The Giver" as this year's One Book, this is a great time to plan an oral history project for your library! An important theme of the book is the passing of memories from one generation to the next, and this is your chance to do just that (even if you can't transmit memories by placing your hands on someone's back!). Pair children and teens with older adults in your community for interviews about their lives. Then have the interviewers prepare a piece of writing based on their interviews and compile those pieces into a booklet or website to share at a reception with all of the interviewees. The younger generation will learn valuable history lessons, and the older generation will get a great product that is all about them!

If you would like help planning this type of program, Mr. Chad would be a great resource along with Charity from the ACLA office who has set up our intergenerational programs at the BrewHouse.

Pittsburgh Oral Histories
Manchester: Pennsylvania Bidwell High Rise: Oral Histories
Bridging the Urban Landscape: Greenfield: Oral Histories: Stephen Szeszak: "You Name It--They Had Steel for Everything."
War & Conflict: Western Pennsylvanians and World War II. A collaboration of Dequesne University & Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh