While the COVID-19 pandemic continues around the globe, the Wichita Public Library sees this as an opportunity to document the effects of the pandemic in Wichita through a new project called "Tell Your COVID Story."
In October, the Library received an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for this project. Staff will solicit and collect submissions relating to community members' lives and experiences during the pandemic, including written memories, photographs, videos and more. The Library will pay particular attention to collecting experience of healthcare workers, frontline workers, small business owners, educators and students, minority communities and local politicians.
The Library's special collections section will lead the project.
"The special collection section is a great resource for the community to learn about Wichita's history," said Sarah Kittrell, Collection Development Manager for the Library. "This project will help current and future generations understand what Wichita was like in the years 2020 and 2021 navigating a global pandemic, community discussions on social justice, and personal and community responsibility relating to public health and safety."
An online submission form is available for residents to submit their stories (wichitalibrary.org/tell-your-story). Once the stories are compiled, staff will upload content to an online platform which residents will be able to access.