The following post was written by Karen Diaz, Associate Professor in University Libraries. If you’re interested in contributing, please contact Robert Griffiths (.44).
This June, several library staff members joined to participate in a departmental Digital Storytelling workshop that took place in the Digital Union. A few participants collaborated resulting in 12 stories completed at the end of the session.
This was the first time the Digital Storytelling Program offered a workshop to a campus department, rather than posting an open call from individuals across campus. As a member of the Digital Storytelling team and a librarian, I was very excited to have the first group of storytellers who knew each other ahead of time be from my own campus unit. I was even more gratified because one of the reasons I helped start the digital storytelling team was that I knew digital storytelling would be a great way for the library to talk about some of the innovative work we do and some of the work we do that might not be explicit to the campus community.
We soon discovered that the medium of storytelling was indeed a positive way for a group who sort of knows each other to get to know each other even better. Participants got insights into a class, a project, even a daily work flow, that was unfamiliar to them and yet happening in their own unit. Collectively, these stories also confirmed my suspicions that they were a powerful way to tell the campus about this complex and innovative library.
Stories came from the libraries’ special collections, communications, cataloging unit, Knowledge Bank office, IT, subject librarians, a student worker, and University Archives. Each unique perspective helped to weave the story of a complex, vibrant, and engaged campus library which contributes to the work of the University in so many ways. A few examples of stories produced are Bridging the Gap by Beth Black and What’s This Say? by Pam McClung.
Participants included: Beth Black, Tschera Connell, Miriam Conteh-Morgan, Maureen Donovan, Danny Dotson, Michelle Drobik, Henry Griffy, Kevlin Haire, Lisa Iacobellis, Beth Kattelman, Pam McClung, Melanie McGurr, Cory Riley, and Maureen Walsh.
Highlights of the week for participants included the opportunity to get to know and work with colleagues, to engage in a truly creative process, to increase their own visual literacy and technology skills, and to share and get feedback from others. Having a final product as a result of their efforts was a concrete benefit to an effort that also afforded so many intangibles.
As is often the case, we also heard that participants would like more time. We know it is so easy to get caught up in the creative process that the time flies and one would always like to have more! However, we also know that people do like that final product in a finite time period…so we continue to move folks through the process intensively.
If you would be interested in a fee-based workshop for your campus unit or group, please contact the Digital Storytelling Program.