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Local Stories User Group Day

Since 2014, libraries and other organizations such as archives and museums can use Local Stories. Local Stories is a very useful multimedia tool designed by Doklab that enables you to build your own stories and share them with your users on interactive multitouch screens or tables. The great and rather unique feature of Local Stories is that it allows organizations to share stories with other organizations that are also using Local Stories. This way it helps to build a community of Storytelling institutions that create a whole new database filled with rich content.

Recently, Doklab organized a second get together in DOK, the famous Public Library in Delft for the 25 organizations in the Netherlands that are now already working with Local Stories. At the event the Users were able to exchange experiences in building stories as well as hear about the latest developments in new functions to enhance the experience of making stories.

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Quite a number of stories have been built by now and it was great to see the storytellers exchange their stories and their experiences at the User Group Day and to hear tips. Some examples of stories on Art are the Vincent van Gogh story and the one on Jeroen Bosch, but also on sport with stories on Johan Cruyff and Mohamed Ali. In a library in Breda in the Netherlands someone has made a story on the buildings that have been demolished over the years and the way this has changed the look and feel of the city. But it is not only libraries and archives that use Local Stories, in the Biesbosch, a National Park in the Netherlands, they use this tool to inform visitors about what natural beauty the park has to offer.

During the User Group Day it became clear that organizations are creating stories by themselves or with the help of partners and that there are different purposes behind the stories. Some of the stories that were shown had an educational purpose, others more historical and/or informative and others on actual local issues. It was great to see people giving each other advice on the use of tools such as how to use maps, photo’s, quizes, polls, video, audio and collections such as Wikipedia. Another important tip was the multi functional use of the latest generation of Touchscreens. The screens have now become much more affordable and can be moved (on wheels) easily and can also be used as a smartboard for presentations.

One of the new features of Local Stories that was shown was that Local Stories is no longer just about sending information. Local Stories now also allows users to respond and comment or add to the stories that are shared. The users can do this directly via the touchscreen, but also with their mobile devices or from their computer at home. Social media tools such as Twitter is also used to collect input on the stories. This enables organizations to really interact with their users and visitors and work together on creating stories.

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Local Stories in Canada

One of the highlights of the day was that we were able to Skype in information professionalist   Lora Baiocco from Westmount Public Library in Montreal, Canada. She shows and explains how Local Stories enabled her to open up a beautiful collection of old donated postcards and share it with their users. The postcards are beautifully designed and the handwritten cards tell a great love story of two lovers who wrote to each other intensively. Even the way the stamps are placed on the card tell a secret message. The ‘Sabourin’ story unfolds a beautiful part of local history and the library found itself a cover story in the American well respected magazine Computers in Libraries because of this use of Local Stories.

Local stories is internationally also used in Melbourne, Australia and in Hamburg, Germany where they used Local Stories to tell the story on their anniversary.
For more information on Local stories send your email to info@doklab.nl or go to the website http://verhaallokaal.doklab.nl/home/en/