videostudio-greenOpen Edmonton, a local group, is recording stories about Edmonton, captured in the words and voices of those and by those who lived them. According to David Rauch, organizer of the “In Your Own Words” project, “larger events in the city are covered by local media, but there are many “smaller stories” that go undocumented.” So he, and other members of the group will be at the Stanley A. Milner Library every Wednesday evening in March and April, using the library’s recently opened sound booths to record stories.

Each week has a theme, from winter to women, but the stories can be about anything.

Volunteers are available to interview people, or friends or family are encouraged to come in and interview each other.

Peter Schoenberg, manager of digital literacy and web services for the Edmonton Public Library, said the sound booths have been busy since they opened about a month ago. Anyone with a library card can book a room, which has microphones, an iMac with recording software, as well as two guitars and a bass available.

MakerSpace also features a large green screen, 3D printers, high performance computers and design software, robotics kits, and a dedicated video gaming area. The space also allows users to self-publish on an Espresso Book Machine – which prints books – and convert older media to modern formats through a digital conversion station.

The recording tools fit the purpose of the entire MakerSpace, which is an open area that provides people a chance “to learn, create, collaborate and discover with free access to the latest technology and equipment.”

In a startup friendly city like Edmonton, full of talented minds with bright ideas, it only makes sense to continue to break down barriers and expand on what we share when it comes to our resources and our services,” said Linda Cook, Edmonton Public Library CEO. In the short time that EPL MakerSpace doors have been open we’ve people of all ages and abilities in here, learning, collaborating, discovering, and creating,” said Cook.

Rauch and the Open Edmonton group considered the sound booths in the EPL’s MakerSpace as inspiration for the oral history project.

The technology is there, allowing amateurs to collect stories with good audio quality,” he said.

Open Edmonton’s goal is to record at least 250 stories over the next two months. Anyone can listen to the stories, which are posted on the website Soundcloud at: https://soundcloud.com/openedmonton/sets/history).

Some stories tied to specific locations are placed on a google map at: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=z5AmgiHrQNwY.kTpsHadBNL2s.

The “In Your Own Words” project runs Wednesday evenings in March and April, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the MakerSpace in the Stanley A. Milner Library in downtown Edmonton.

See more about it at: www.epl.ca/makerspace