Sharing Life Stories

Henry David Thoreau famously said, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Well, people's lives are filled with much more than desperation. Look around. People fall in love, they have children, they help each other, they overcome obstacles. The primitive artist Grandma Moses said, "Life is what you make of it. Always has been, always will be." We think what you make of your life is important, and through StoryCorps, we are offering you the opportunity to record your life's events.

StoryCorps is an independent, nationwide nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another's lives through listening. StoryCorps records conversations between individuals about their lives so they may be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Through Legacy Grant funding, Great River Regional Library (GRRL) is able to bring StoryCorps to Central Minnesota to celebrate the extraordinary lives of ordinary people such as farmers, mothers, teachers, nurses, solders, etc. StoryCorps will be recording life stories at the following GRRL libraries and dates:

Annandale  March 14-16 (320-274-8448)

Elk River  March 18-20 (763-441-1641)

St. Cloud  April 15-17 (320-650-2500)

Melrose  April 19-21 (320-256-3885)

Little Falls  May 16-18 (320-632-9676)

Staples  May 20-22 (218-894-1401)

StoryCorps interviews are not rehearsed or read from notes, although interviewers are encouraged to create question lists. They are designed to be conversations between people who are part of each other's lives, such as friends and family. Or, if somebody chooses to come alone, a StoryCorps facilitator can be the interviewer. The interviews are recorded in a private space using high quality recording equipment, and each participant pair receives a broadcast-quality recording of their conversation immediately after the interview. A very small percentage of interviews are edited for broadcast on National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

Interviews must be scheduled. Openings are still available, including at Annandale, the first StoryCorps location. You do not need to reside in the specific community where recordings are taking place. This opportunity is available to residents in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties. To register, call the library directly.