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Share Your COVID-19 Story to Build the Library’s Collection
We are living in a historic moment. The COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps one of those events that change or mark a generation. Recognizing the importance and unique opportunity for us to document experiences and collective memories while we are living through uncertain times together, the Arlington Heights Memorial Library invites local community members to share their stories, artifacts and any form of artistic or creative expression about living during the pandemic. The goal of the Arlington Heights COVID-19 Story Project is to create a library collection that will enable our community and future generations to learn about the resilience of Arlington Heights. The library aims to create a permanent historic document by exhibiting or publishing the work digitally and/or physically in the future.
What is the library looking for?
We are looking for personal stories that reflect how your world is changing. We encourage our community members to keep a "journal" to record your everyday experiences, feelings, reflections, and hopes, no matter how big or small. You may transcribe news articles, type, or hand-write your stories, create drawings or doodles, take photographs, make short videos, compose songs, and so forth. We welcome raw and original materials. To contribute to the Arlington Heights COVID-19 Story Project, complete an online entry form and agree to the release waiver by checking the checkbox.
Can I contribute more than one submission?
Yes. Anyone interested in sharing work can submit multiple pieces.
Who can contribute to the Arlington Heights COVID-19 Story Project? Do I need to be an Arlington Heights resident to participate?
All ages are welcome. The project is open to current Arlington Heights residents and members of our vibrant businesses community. No library card is required to submit items.
How can I share my story?
All contributions must be available in digital format. If you create any work in paper or physical form, please document it in one of the following formats:
JPEG, PNG, PDF, MP4, etc. (maximum file size: 250mb)
External links to YouTube, Vimeo, or other open, web-based publishing platforms are also accepted.
Is there any deadline?
With the unknown future of the pandemic, the library will accept contributions on an ongoing basis. Continue to follow us at ahml.info for further updates related to COVID-19.
Where will my contribution go after I submit it to the library?
After you complete an online contribution form, it will be directed to library staff for review. The library reserves all rights to publish the work in appropriate platforms in the future. By sharing your contact information, you will be notified with updates about the project. Library staff may also get in touch to learn more about what you’ve shared.
Your contributions may be included in a digital or physical exhibit curated by Arlington Heights Memorial Library and may eventually be included in larger statewide or national digital archives, such as the Illinois Digital Archive or the Digital Public Library of America.
Need some inspiration to get started?
If you need some ideas for your submission, try the following writing and/or creating prompts:
- How is Halloween different for you and your family this year? Send us a picture!
- Green thumb, baking, cat whisperer - what skills have you gained or strengthened throughout the pandemic?
- Did you perfect a recipe during the pandemic? Bake a spectacular sourdough? Share the recipe and your culinary experience with us!
- From virtual hang out sessions with friends to doom scrolling, how has technology shaped 2020 for you?
- Add your voice to our community's local history project. Grab a pen and paper or computer, and set some time aside to reflect on 2020 and the pandemic - what did you find joy in, what did you struggle with, how did you spend your time, how has your job or schooling changed. Submit your experiences to our COVID-19 Story Project.
- Thanksgiving is around the corner. How has COVID-19 impacted the way that you'll prepare for the holidays and celebrate with your family and friends?
Interested in volunteering for the project?
Apply for a Volunteer Interviewer position
Are you looking for meaningful opportunities to strengthen your communication skills, engage in intellectual dialogues, and make a lasting contribution to preserve the history of our local community? The library is in need for volunteers to collect stories for the COVID-19 Story Project. The success of the project depends upon the time and passion contributed by volunteer interviewers and writers. Volunteers must complete a required training program via Zoom.
Be an Interviewee
Would you like to be a part of local history? The library is in need of individuals who are interested in connecting and sharing their COVID-19 stories with our volunteer interviewers. These stories will help us document the experiences from, and collective memories of, this historic moment and preserve them for future generations. If you would like to be considered for an interview, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.