How can you participate in this wonderful new tradition?
Interview your loved ones. Set aside an hour or more to ask questions and draw out stories from your family members, family friends or community members. Use a video camera, tape recorder, smartphone or your computer's built-in camera and microphone to record the interview. You might find it helpful to download StoryCorps Do-It-Yourself Interview Guide to prepare for the interview ahead of time.
Digitize and share old audio and video tapes. Many of us have vintage 8mm or VHS videotapes of family gatherings from days gone by. It's time to revive those recorded memories by having them digitized and converted to DVD. The same goes for old audio tapes. Nothing is more precious than hearing loved ones' voices from the past.
Record your own story. Sometimes we're so busy being the family historian, we forget the value of our own stories. Take an hour for yourself, sit down and record yourself sharing your own personal stories and memories. You can use the same interview guidelines for yourself as you did when you interviewed your loved ones.
Preserve a Veteran's story. This year StoryCorps will highlight the stories of veterans, active duty military, and their families on their website. Why not take the time to honor someone in the military—past or present—by recording and sharing their story? If you blog about your own family history, take time to profile an ancestor soldier and share it with your readers.
Share stories with others. Once you've listened to, recorded and preserved all those wonderful stories, it's time to share them with others. Here's how:
- Post directly on the StoryCorps website. Upload your audio recording and a photo of yourself and the person you interviewed to StoryCorps. (Or you can record directly on their website as well!)
- If the person you interviewed gives you permission, you can upload video interviews to Vimeo or YouTube. Send the link to friends and family member who will appreciate the shared stories.
- Share text, sound and video recordings on Low Country Africana's Family Stories website.
- Write up your story and submit it, along with a photo, to Your Story Coach's Share-a-story website.
This year's National Day of Listening is the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with the people you love, and to honor them with the gift of really listening to them speak from the heart.