Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oral History and Reminiscing

The Cool Librarian blogged about a new web 2.0 service called Voice Thread. This new free service allows people to upload pictures and audio about the picture. You can invite other people to view the voice thread and they can leave a text or audio comment.The Voice Thread website has a tutorial and the process seems to be fairly easy and straight forward.

Many libraries have hosted oral history projects on their websites (for example the New York Public Library video oral histories and the Hillsborough County Library System audio oral histories). I like the idea of bringing together historical photographs with an audio comment by the person who donated the photograph. If one hosted the photos on Voice Thread, one has the additional benefit of allowing comments from other patrons - either written or audio. It provides an increased level of social interaction and dialogue about the past. Such a project may interest local history enthusiasts and genealogists. It also could be used to encourage intergenerational oral history projects and promote discussion between older adults and teens. I am really excited about libraries creating content for patrons - especially local content.

Another idea for library use of a Voice Thread is to post a picture of a popular book and allow patrons to give an audio or text review of the book. This could be an addition to a traditional face-to-face book discussion. In this way, libraries could start to build a virtual community of patrons (a cornerstone of the Library 2.0 philosophy).

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