Bridges Library System Receives Grant from Bader Philanthropies, Inc.

Public Libraries Will Develop Oral History Project with Grant Funds

The Bridges Library System recently received a two-year, $35,000 grant from Bader Philanthropies, Inc. for the Library Memory Project, which serves those living with memory loss. The grant will allow the Bridges Library System to develop and launch its “Gathering and Sharing Stories” oral history initiative in partnership with StoryCorps, a national oral history project. Through this initiative, local library staff will collect and preserve the stories and memories of local residents living with memory loss, and their care partners.

“In our work through the Library Memory Project over the years, we have come to appreciate the power of stories. Memories and stories connect us not only to the past, but to each other,” said Angela Meyers, Inclusive Services Coordinator at the Bridges Library System. “We are excited to partner with Bader Philanthropies, Inc. for this special project to bring StoryCorps to the Greater Milwaukee area.”

Library staff members will be trained by StoryCorps this fall to engage participants, gather stories, and record and preserve the oral histories. Library staff will then interview individuals living with memory loss, and their loved ones, through 2022 and 2023. The recordings of the stories will be made available to the participants and the national Library of Congress, with consent, for generations to enjoy for years to come.

Group of 11 people wearing purple shirts, standing in a large room under a balloon arch with purple balloons attached to it. The people are facing at and smiling at the photographer.
Library staff at the Library Memory Project Family Day Event in 2019