Before COVID-19, the Princeton (N.J.) Public Library adult programming team periodically would discuss how we could offer a virtual component to accompany our in-person library programming. Could we livestream our larger events to an overflow space within the library? What would be the best way to record some of our programs and make them available to the public afterwards? These questions were discussed, with varying degrees of urgency, for months.
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An important function of our library is to provide a space for our community members to feel connected to one another and share their own stories with each other. Last fall, Princeton Public Library (PPL) focused our efforts on storytelling, highlighting the many ways that stories can be shared: poetry, memoirs, graphic novels, performance, quilting and more.
Public humanities work in public libraries is essential. The core mission of public humanities work is to provide opportunities for people to expand their knowledge and understanding of the world and the human experience, to promote understanding of and form relationships with other people, and to expand our understanding of the past and present.
How do you engage your community with local history? How do you connect your community with history that may not be well known or visible today? One answer for the Princeton (N.J.) Public Library (PPL) is our Open Archive program series, offered in partnership with the Historical Society of Princeton (HSP).