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Library wants COVID-19 stories

Posted at 9:57 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 23:23:58-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Public Library is asking for personal stories from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The library intends to preserve the stories for future researchers to understand life as it happened from those who lived it. It's much like learning about life in World War II Germany by reading books like The Diary of Ann Frank, or Elie Wiesel's Night. Future historians can get an accurate depiction of life now in order understand and maybe learn from our example.

A pandemic like COVID-19 is unique to this era. The Grand Rapids Public Library wants to preserve personal experiences and insights from around West Michigan to create a shared memory. Stories will be saved in their permanent archival collections.

“We usually think of our history as something in the past, but right now it’s clear that we’re living through a historic moment,” remarked Julie Tabberer, GRHSC manager. “Sharing our own stories can help us process some of the rapidly changing emotions we’re feeling. Hearing about other people’s experiences is powerful. I hope it builds empathy in our community and encourages us to provide real, tangible support to our neighbors.”

Anyone interested in participating in the project can fill out the form on the website and sharing pictures, video, or audio. For the form and more information, follow the link here, contacting the library directly at or by phone at 616-988-5492.