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Our Streets, Our Stories Community Scanning Update

Oct 30, 2015 12:00 PM | 0 comments

The Our Streets, Our Stories introduction post found me preparing for my kick-off event at the Leonard library and putting finishing touches on the mobile digitization kit. Four months later I’m now preparing for my fifth community scanning event at the Clinton Hill library and working toward scheduling more spring events. 

Our Streets, Our Stories has been well received by the library community and public interest is steadily growing. As we host more scanning events in different neighborhoods, I'm adjusting my outreach efforts to reflect what I've learned along the way. Among the most important lessons is to reach the library’s most frequent patrons, whom I rely on the branch librarians to help me identify. Leaving a sign-up sheet at the front desk has been a great way for the librarians to collect the contact information of interested patrons, allowing me to reach out to them with a reminder a few days before the event. 

Photo album with photographs of Lois Degenhardt at a fair in Kutztown, Pennsylvania (left) and Iris Sheber on the promenade at Manhattan Beach (right), 1970. 

The support of the library’s friends group is key to successfully promoting an event. These volunteers are living in the communities I’m trying to reach, working hard to advocate for their branch; it’s a natural alliance. The friends of New Lots library suggested adjustments that led to my most successful event to date! In the coming weeks I’m looking forward to meeting with groups at the Clinton Hill, Greenpoint and Dyker libraries. 

Pasta Association annual meeting, c1950      

Employees inside of the I. Defrancisci & Son Macaroni Machines factory at 219 Morgan Avenue, 1917.

Starting in early November Our Streets, Our Stories will be taking on a new challenge by partnering with Brooklyn Connections to bring digitization to classrooms. By taking my mobile digitization kit to Brooklyn schools, children will have the opportunity to not only learn about Brooklyn’s history, but to contribute to it. Each student will be asked to bring in one item they believe best represents Brooklyn and will assist me in creating a digital copy. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the students interpret the assignment!

Senior pin from Junior High School 218 James P. Sinnott, 1973.             

Eric Lafontant holding his daughter Farrah Lafontant in Flatbush, 1979. 

The project reached an exciting milestone earlier this week when the majority of our collected images were uploaded to the Brooklyn Public Library catalog. I received an enthusiastic response from our donors, some of whom have been waiting since August to see their images online. In the spring these images will be migrated to the library’s new digital collections website, but in the meantime you can take a look at some examples here and here

I hope to see you this winter at our upcoming events: 

November 17th and 21st: Clinton Hill Library

December 16th and 19th: Greenpoint Library

January 29th and 30th: Dyker Library