MT State Library supports National Day of Listening

Record stories from friends and loved ones

The Friday  after Thanksgiving is the National Day of Listening. The Montana State Library – partnered with public libraries throughout the state – encourages Montanans to record their stories, and those of their loved ones, as part of the Share Your Story Montana project.

Share Your Story is an oral history project designed to collect and curate personal stories of Montanans. The stories will be available online for others to listen to and learn from, similar to the popular StoryCorps program heard on National Public Radio.

Montana’s program works by circulating audio recording equipment to libraries around the state. When a local library hosts the equipment, residents are encouraged to visit their local library and record their personal histories.

As with all library programming, participating in the Share Your Story project is free. If you’re unsure how to start your interviews, Share Your Story provides numerous tips.

“Oral history allows us to learn about the perspectives of individuals who might not otherwise appear in the historical record,” said Jennie Stapp, Montana State Librarian. “While historians and history students can use traditional documents to reconstruct the past, everyday people fall through the cracks in the written record. We are excited that the Montana State Library is offering this opportunity to Montanans to share their story so that people understand the heart and soul of who we are.”

While Montana State Library hopes people will use the Share Your Story kits, Stapp also encourages people to start those conversations when they gather with friends and family on Thanksgiving and Friday.

“Sit down at the dinner table or couch and ask questions of your loved ones,” Stapp said. “Then watch for the Share Your Story project at a library near you and record their stories for future generations.”

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