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It’s Time To Tell Us Your Story – StoryCorps Project Now Accepting Appointments

January 4, 2016

Your stories are special. They have real meaning. And they deserve to be saved.

StoryCorps, the nation’s largest oral history project, has joined forces with the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries to help you, your family and your friends preserve your stories and memories in this unique project, running from now through October 2015.

“Stories from the Library: The Mildred Terry Memory Project” will be collecting stories about the Mildred L. Terry Public Library, founded as a “colored only” library in 1953. For years it and the nearby 5th Avenue School served as a community center for a significant portion of the Columbus-area population. We look forward to preserving your recollections about the Library and School as well as life in Columbus and the surrounding area from the 1950’s to the present.

As a part of your participation, you will receive a free CD copy of your interview and your stories will be permanently catalogued in the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, where future generations will be able to share in your memories.

Kick-off Celebration May 19th!

The public is invited to join us at the Mildred L. Terry Public Library on Tuesday, May 19th as we kick-off “The Mildred Terry Memory Project.” Come find out more about this exciting event and tour the new recording studio and library. You can also schedule a time for you and a loved one or friend to share your stories. They’ll be free food for all plus games and crafts for the kids and teens. The party runs from 5:30pm-7:30pm.

The StoryCorps Difference

Each StoryCorps interview is unique in that we request you bring one friend or family member to share in the conversation. This way we are able to collect stories, not just a recitation of facts or dates. Each recording session will last about 40 minutes, although we suggest you allow 90 minutes to complete all forms and paperwork.

StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. Since 2003, they have collected and archived more than 50,000 interviews from more than 80,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on StoryCorps’ Listen Page at www.storycorps.org.

How Do I Sign Up

All interview sessions must be booked in advance. You may sign up by clicking on the button at the top of this page. It will take you to our online booking agent where you can choose a date and time that best fits your schedule.

Once you complete the online application, you will be sent a Participant packet containing a copy of our “Great Questions” form which suggests possible topics of conver­sation. You’ll also be given instruc­tions about when to report. All inter­views will take place at the Mildred L. Terry Public Library, 640 Veterans Parkway, Columbus, GA 31901.

For More Information

Please contact the Mildred L. Terry Public Library, 706-243-2782 for more information, or e-mail Henry McCoy at hmccoy@cvrls.net or Silvia Bunn at sbunn@cvrls.net.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my story really worth sharing?

Does it cost anything to participate?

Are you only collecting stories about the Mildred L. Terry Library?

Do I need to bring a friend or family member, or can you interview me?

How many people can I bring to an interview?

How old do you have to be to interview?

Can I bring my child/grandchild?

I tried to sign up, but I’m not available at the given times.

Do you accept walk-in appointments?

What should I do to prepare for the interview?

Can I conduct my interview in Spanish? In another language?

Where are the interviews stored?

Is my interview available online?

Can you provide a transcript of my interview?

 

Is my story really worth sharing?

Yes! Your stories are sacred… to you, your family, your friends… and your community. We hope to use some of these stories in the development of a comprehensive social history of Columbus, and your participation can help ensure that all facets of our city's life are told.

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Does it cost anything to participate?

No! The cost is entirely free. This service is provided by StoryCorps and the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, with additional administrative support from the Muscogee County Friends of Libraries.

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Are you only collecting stories about the Mildred L. Terry Library?

No! We are happy to preserve any story that you may wish to share. During the first few months of the project, we may restrict some appointment times to those talking about the Library, School and immediate neighborhood.

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Do I need to bring a friend or family member, or can you interview me?

StoryCorps interviews are designed to record conversations between people who are part of one another’s lives, so we do ask that you bring a partner. If you do not have a partner, come with an idea of what you’d like to talk about–a StoryCorps Facilitator will be on-site to help you share your story and ask questions.

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How many people can I bring to an interview?

A two-person interview is ideal: you and your interview partner. The booth is small, but it can fit an additional participant; interviews between two people tend to work the best, though.

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How old do you have to be to interview?

We genrally require participants to be at least 18 years of age. Parents or legal guardians may interview their children older than age 12. The parent/guardian must be legally able to sign a release form on behalf of the minor.

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Can I bring my child/grandchild?

We suggest you do not bring children younger than 10 to your interview.

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I tried to sign up, but I’m not available at the given times.

If your schedule does not permit you to participate during the appointment times, please contact Henry McCoy at 706-243-2689/hmccoy@cvrls.net or Silvia Bunn at 706-243-2782/sbunn@cvrls.net.

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Do you accept walk-in appointments?

No. Specialized staff must be scheduled to conduct the interviews, so all appointments must be made in advance.

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What should I do to prepare for the interview?

Upon scheduling your appointment, you will be receive via e-mail or regular mail a Participant Packet that lists great ways to prepare for your interview. Included will be a list of "Great Questions" you can use to come up with discussion ideas. You mayalso visit the StoryCorps "What To Expect" page for further information. 

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Can I conduct my interview in another language?

Yes, with certain limitations. For those who speak Spanish, a facilitator can be provided to assist with the interview. Please contact Henry McCoy at 706-243-2689/hmccoy@cvlrs.net or Silvia Bunn at 706-243-2782/sbunn@cvrls.net to make this arrangement. For other languages, you will need to provide a translator to assist with the interview.

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Where are the interviews stored?

All interviews are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. For more information about the StoryCorps archive, please read the FAQs on the American Folklife Center’s website. Interviews from this project will also stored in smaller collections, including here at the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries; please visit the Storycorps Archive Partners page for more information. 

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Is my interview available online?

StoryCorps interviews are not available online. A small percentage of StoryCorps interviews are edited and made available on the Storycorps Listen pageNPR’s website, and other institutional partners’ websites. We hope one day to have all StoryCorps interviews available online, but until that time we encourage you to make copies of your recording to share with friends and loved ones.

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Can you provide a transcript of my interview?

This service is not available. StoryCorps recommends the Audio Transcription Center in Boston, MA. You may follow the link or call them at 617-423-2151 for pricing and additional information.

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