Helping People Grow
Stories from 20 Years of Extraordinary Museums & Libraries
Today our partners at the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced winners for the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. We Are StoryCorps is featuring guest bloggers from our Custom Services department to talk about their experiences with this amazing institution.
“Four years, 50 trips across the country, and nearly 900 interviews recorded.” This is how we could catalogue our relationship with The National Medal for Museum and Library Service. But the most important number to note–the number of lives touched by the libraries and museums we have visited during our travels–is countless.
Each year, our partners at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), awards the annual National Medal to ten museums and libraries that “demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach.” This year, for the 20th anniversary of the National Medal, we had the honor of recording the stories of the people who make these institutions remarkable.
IMLS sent StoryCorps Facilitators high and low to find unsung heroes these institutions–the librarians, tutors, artists, security guards, and so many more. We rolled our recording equipment from big city cultural centers–such as the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx– to small town staples–like the Naturita Community Library in Colorado who serves a population fewer than 500 people. So what do these institutions have in common? It is not just that they are amazing at what they do, but that they constantly defy expectations. For example, Virginia’s Park View High School Library hosts live World Music celebrations–breaking away from the traditional “shhh!” of a library by bringing in joyous noise performed by student bands!
Here are some other story gems that we’ve heard among the gallery walls and library stacks:
“I’m not a nurse, I’m not a teacher but I’m kind of like combination of that. I’m helping people grow.” –Blossom Smith, Librarian, Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County
“People like you can never be forgotten, because you helped shape who I am.”–Oscar Mansfield, poet, to his former tutor, Lora Osterloh, Contra Costa County Library
“I know it feels good to make something, so I want to give girls a space and a reason to do that.”–Jillian Hernandez, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami
Congratulations to this year’s National Medal Winners! We can’t wait to meet you and hear the unique stories that make your communities special. Thank you for the important work you do every day!
Mobile Lowdown: Durham Edition
It’s time again for another stop on our nationwide MobileBooth tour–which also means another edition of the Mobile Lowdown! This time around, Jesse Gutierrez (Associate Manager of Mobile Tour) and Diana Velez (Associate Manager of Marketing and Communications) brought in some reinforcements–Mr. Jordan Bullard (Jesse’s friendly, Southern colleague in the Mobile department).
So, as the Mobile Crew kicked off the stop today in Durham, Jordan and Diana took over the blog to give everyone another quick look at one of our many awesome MobileBooth city stops!
Let’s start off with the basics–what’s happening in Durham?
What: MobileBooth Visit to Durham, NC
When: April 17–May 16, 2014
Where: The Booth will be parked at the American Tobacco Campus, 705 Willard Street Durham, North Carolina, 27701
Public Radio Partner: WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
Opening Day Insider Information:
Diana: “First things first: Captain Luke, brought to us by the Music Maker Relief Foundation, was both the first VIP interview and performer on Opening Day. Captain Luke’s interview partner was Tim Duffy, also from the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Durham has a rich heritage of folk music, which the Music Maker Foundation has been preserving since 1994.”
Jordan: “Our second VIP interview was between Matt Victoriano and Ryan Wetter. Matt and Ryan have a very interesting story about life after being deployed (Iraq and Afghanistan respectively).”
Diana: “Our MobileBooth will be parked at the historic American Tobacco Historic District, home to the Lucky Strike Tobacco Tower (Don Draper would be jealous), and the Durham Bulls.
*According to Diana and this random Sports Illustrated Article.
Jordan: “Durham has become a pretty serious foody town. You can basically take a walking food tour across downtown Durham. All of the spots below are within about a 20 minute walk (5 minute bike ride) of each other:
Cocao Canela – Mexican inspired coffee hangout
Parker & Otis – Biscuits, Gravy, and knick-knacks
Full Steam – Microbrewery in Downtown Durham
Piedmont Restaurant – Farm-to-table Americana kinda stuff
Geer Street Garden – tasty food in an old gas station
Cookout – the best fast food drive-through this side of the Mississippi (maybe the world) — multiple locations around Durham
Durham also has local breweries, hipsters galore, and people on bikes. The American Tobacco Trail is great for bikers and joggers. You can catch the trail on the south side of the American Tobacco Campus and follow across all of Durham County.”
Durham sounds both exciting and delicious! We cannot wait to hear what amazing stories our team collects this time around!
Thanks as always to our Mobile Lowdown-ers for all their help!