During this unprecedented time, the Brooklyn Public Library is asking residents to contribute to its local oral history archive, Our Streets, Our Stories, by sharing their experiences about living through the COVID-19 pandemic.
This pandemic has already changed our city forever. We have lost thousands of our neighbors just here in Brooklyn, students are adjusting to online learning, too many of us don’t know where the rent check will come from, and masks are the new fashion accessory. BPL wants to know- what is life like for you these days?
“At this moment in time, we have an opportunity to collect testimonies and memories of the crisis as it is unfolding so that future Brooklynites can understand the pandemic at a local level,” reads BPL’s announcement about the project. “If you are a healthcare worker, a teacher, a student, a parent, a community member, a first responder, an essential worker, a senior, or if you are incarcerated or have a loved one who is incarcerated, we want to hear from you. If you are a Brooklynite, this story is your story.”
So far the library has about 12 staff members and volunteers working on the COVID-19 oral history project, and they’ve collected about 20 different interviews, BPL press officer Fritzi Bodenheimer told Bklyner. A wide variety of neighbors are represented in those interviews, including teachers, doctors, Amazon employees, new moms, bakers, and college students.
To schedule an interview, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (917) 426-1271. Be sure to include the best way for them to reach you, and a member of their staff will reach out to schedule a remote interview. Interviews can be as short or as long as you like, and will be archived online and available on the Our Streets, Our Stories website
In the past, Our Streets, Our Stories has focused on different neighborhoods, setting up shop in local libraries. We’ve highlighted their Clinton Hill project as well as other efforts. We hope to hear your story in the archive in the future!