The Story They Tell, set up by graphic designer and library assistant Helen Anderson, tackles two issues in particular – that of library advocacy projects typically running for set periods of time only and the fact that public libraries can mean anything to anyone. It is challenging to convey this quality, yet it is not something to shy away from and as The Story They Tell is a crowdsourced library, it means that it is open to anyone to participate which will hopefully help navigate the multiplicity of roles public libraries have, as a variety of perspectives would be represented. Hopefully, this will go some way to help update perceptions about public libraries and perhaps bridge discrepancies in terms of time & resources at different libraries.
The home page contains the information about the project, the ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ as it were.
Then there is the ‘Explore the Gallery’ page – here people can explore the different visuals, clicking on for more information (or a story) and they can share and download the posters if they would like. Maybe people working in libraries will want to use the posters, maybe people protesting, maybe book lovers or perhaps people will just visit for inspiration.
Next there is ‘Find your library’ using one of the great projects from Libraries Hacked. Helen was conscious that if the site is trying to get people enthused about using public libraries, then it would be good to be able to direct them to their library. [The Library Campaign will be incorporating Libraries Hacked material on this site shortly.]
The final part is the ‘submit your design’. Here people may be moved to participate in the project and submit their own posters/visuals to the website. It could be something specifically made for this project, it could be something that people have made previously. It could be posters from libraries showcasing their offerings, posters made for protests… Nothing is ruled out and one of the suggestions is that people can use the template on that page to write something about public libraries and that can be posted.
Many Friends groups create excellent work which deserves to be seen widely. Others need ready-made material. The site includes Helen’s posters, based on her research into the things people value about libraries. Help yourself – or add your own creations.