StoryCorps begins recording at Rochester library

October 11, 2018

The nationally recognized nonprofit StoryCorps is coming to Rochester.

Starting Monday, StoryCorps facilitators will spend three days at Rochester Public Library to record local residents.

Kim Edson, the library’s head of readers’ services, said the visit is part of the library’s prize for winning the 2018 National Medal for Library Service.

“We were thrilled to be selected for the National Medal, the nation’s highest honor for libraries,” she said. “And we are equally thrilled to have a nationally known organization come to our library to collect stories from our patrons.”

Participants were selected by library staff, based on involvement in library programs and through a contest.

The recorded 40-minute conversations between Rochester-area residents will be guided by a trained StoryCorps facilitator.

Recording stories isn’t something new for Rochester Public Library. In 2017, the library received a grant to install a sound booth in the building and used the space to record local oral histories. The library also partnered with the Olmsted County History Center to collect stories that were transcribed and archived on the library’s website.

“Oral histories and recording personal stories align with our library’s strategic goal to engage our community,” Edson said.

Following the StoryCorps recording sessions and production work, the library will host a Red Carpet Open House at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 with the participants and the community. The event is free and open to the public and will feature short snippets of the conversations.

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