What's your story, Montana?
Jennie Stapp, who is the digital library director of the Montana State Library, posted a comment on my previous blog entry. I thought it would be better to respond to her comment in another post because I wanted to link to a number of Web pages.
Jennie connected my blog post to her state library's marketing campaign: What's Your Story. The Web site for the campaign sounds interesting. I'd love to hear some of the stories they get.
While reading her comment, I thought about where all of these stories come from and where we find them. I assume Montana's What's Your Story campaign will collect the stories on their site, but I also wonder about aggregating stories from other sites.
Without rereading David Lanke's writing on libraries as community conversations, I'm in danger of "steeling" his ideas. That is not my intent, but I will blunder on.... I'm wondering how many stories are taking place on Flickr or YouTube or some blog somewhere. These stories too are interesting to our neighbors, which is to say library patrons.
So I dug a little into library content and into the Web's social content. Using WorldCat I unearthed photos of the interior of the First National Bank of Glasgow, Montana circa 1910. Then I did a quick search on Flickr for Glasgow images. And I found this great video on YouTube: glasgow high school cell phone survey. There's a lot of stories on the Related Videos section of of that page too.
I think it would be fascinating to see these types of stories on the Leisure and Recreation section of the What's Your Story site.
My local library is more than a gallery, where I go to look at stuff; it is a museum where I go to make sense of stuff. Just as an archived photo collection or a family's personal papers can help me learn about life in Glasgow, MT; so can that YouTube video.
I know I am touching on issues of collection maintenance (how libraries decide what they are going to buy and keep) and staff time. Should the limited resources of our neighborhood libraries be spent making sense of what's on YouTube and Flickr as well as what is on their shelves and in their article and journal databases?