1. Introduction
  2. Frequently Asked Questions
  3. Application Details


StoryCorps @ your library is a project of StoryCorps, conducted in partnership with the American Library Association Public Programs Office with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The goal of the project is to enable public libraries to implement StoryCorps' interview methods and resources and create a local audio collection that libraries will use to produce high-quality library programming that will expand their influence and engagement in their communities.

The project will develop and implement a replicable program at ten pilot public libraries selected from across the country. Pilot libraries will receive equipment, training, promotional materials, and other resources to help them develop community documentation projects using the popular and unique StoryCorps facilitated interview model. As part of the StoryCorps approach, each interview participant pair receives a copy of their recording. With participant permission, and based upon a written agreement with StoryCorps, local libraries will retain copies of fully released interviews. Copies of fully released interviews will also be deposited with the Library of Congress. If you have additional questions about copyright and use of recorded interviews, please see StoryCorps’ Usage Policies. (PDF, 168kB)

During and following interview collection, participating libraries will develop local programs and events that complement the interviewing process. Ten libraries will be selected receive a StoryCorps @ your library grant, based on a competitive application process. These ten libraries will in turn serve as models for other libraries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of libraries are eligible?

Applications are invited from public libraries (including tribal libraries) and library systems located in the U.S. and its territories.

Individuals and other non-public library organizations, including academic, community college, school, and special libraries are not eligible to apply. Libraries that have already received a StoryCorps @ your library grant under a prior deadline are also not eligible to apply.

Ineligible organizations interested in StoryCorps @ your library are encouraged to contact their local public library to discuss program partnership opportunities that would result in a proposal submitted by the public library. Ineligible applicants may also wish to review the suite of free, DIY resources available on the StoryCorps website or contact StoryCorps staff for assistance.

Late, incomplete, and ineligible applications will not be reviewed.

What will my library receive, if selected?

Pilot libraries will each receive:

  • A $2,500 stipend for project-related expenses.
  • A toolkit of written and web-based customizable program and promotional support materials.
  • A StoryKit (a customized set of professional recording equipment) to use to record onsite interviews during the grant period and retain for future use after the close of the pilot project.
  • A two-day in-person training by StoryCorps staff at the StoryCorps headquarters in Brooklyn, New York to orient volunteers and library staff to interview collection, digital recording techniques, and archiving interviews in StoryCorps’ proprietary database. The orientation workshop will be held in on April 8-9, 2015. All travel and lodging costs will be covered by StoryCorps.

What are the requirements if my library is selected?

  • Expend grant funds for project-related expenses.
  • Identify 2 participants (staff and/or volunteers) for two-day training session conducted by StoryCorps in Brooklyn, NY. (Note that attendance by the StoryCorps @ your library point person is required.)
  • Establish a point person who will be responsible for communicating directly with StoryCorps staff during the grant period.
  • Guarantee a substantive volunteer or staff corps who will be responsible for recording interviews recorded through the program.
  • Record between a minimum of 40 interviews using StoryCorps training guidelines and methodology between May and October, 2015.
  • Provide substantive feedback to StoryCorps on the program components and execution.
  • Host one public programming event that celebrates the interviews collected through the program.
  • Agree to use designated credits and/or logos on all publicity materials.
  • Submit a final report on local activities and evaluation to ALA within 60 days following the completion of the last program, or by April 29, 2016 (whichever comes first).
  • Participate in 2 conference calls during the course of the grant period.

What is included in the StoryCorps Storykit?

The StoryKit contains professional audio equipment including a Marantz digital audio recorder, two Audio-Technica microphones, a Canon PowerShot digital camera, and all requisite accessories, packed in a rolling LowerPro equipment bag with all storage devices and peripherals for processing digital materials. A spare will be on hand in case of damage or malfunction. Each library will retain a kit for use during the grant period and beyond if desired.

Who pays for travel and lodging for the April training session in Brooklyn?

StoryCorps will pay all travel and lodging expenses incurred by up to two participants from each selected library. Any incidental fees – such as meals not provided during the training, extra transportation, and hotel incidentals – will be covered by the individual.

Can two public libraries apply for one StoryCorps grant?

Each StoryCorps grant is awarded to only one library or library system; therefore, it is not permissible for two libraries to co-apply for the grant. However, it is permissible for one library to apply as the “point” library, or main contact, while collaborating with another library or libraries in the same community. In this case, it is recommended that the collaborating library be listed in the narrative section of the application as a partner, and that a letter of support from that library be provided in the uploads section.

How do I apply?

Register or sign in using the links below to begin your application.

Questions about your application?

Call the ALA Public Programs Office: 312.280.5045 or 800.545.2433 x 5045 or email:

When is the deadline?

Applications will be accepted December 8, 2014 through February 6, 2015. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm Central Standard Time on February 6.

When will programs take place?

Interview collection periods will take place between April and October 2015. There is the possibility of program continuation following the grant period.

When will I be notified if my library will be a pilot site?

All applicants will be notified of their award status by February 27, 2015.

What are the selection criteria?

Proposal reviewers will evaluate proposals using the following criteria:

  • Clear statement of intended participants for interview collection; participants should reflective the diversity of the communities served by the library.
  • Compelling statement of goals for interview collection period (e.g., implementation of oral narrative programming, hosting of public program, collection development, etc.).
  • Plan for communication to library audiences during grant period.
  • Plan for preserving local interviews and sustaining oral history programming in your library and community after the grant period.
  • Demonstration of commitment to outreach and education within your institution.

Application Details

In the application, you will be asked to provide the following information.

Project Director and Institution

  • Library, project director, authorizing official name/email/phone/address
  • Institution type
  • Type of community served
  • Population served
  • Congressional district
  • Closest metro area
  • Website

Narrative Questions

Describe why you are interested in implementing the StoryCorps @ your library program in your community, What community issues, goals and/or thematic approach do you anticipate seeing addressed in interviews and related programming, and the specific audiences (either internal or external) you seek to engage. How will you promote the project to reach these audiences?

Describe the library program(s) and events you will develop or already have in place that will anchor your approach and interview collection.

Please name the project staff and/or volunteers who will attend the April 2015 StorpCorps @ your library orientation workshop in Brooklyn, NY. (Note that attendance by the StoryCorps @ your library point person is required.)

Describe plans for preserving oral histories collected during this project and for sustaining oral history programming in your library and community after the grant period.

Describe the ability of your library to support the implementation of a StoryCorps program through anticipated cost-share (e.g., staff time, promotional support, speaker honoraria or other programming costs). Include a description and the estimated value for all costs you anticipate beyond the $2,500 stipend. If your library will seek additional funders for the project, please describe that as well.

In what ways would you be willing to share your knowledge and experiences to promulgate interest and expertise among other librarians (e.g., through conference programs and preconferences, features on, or other outlets)?

If you anticipate collaborating with other organizations or groups, please list them and describe their role(s).

How do you anticipate using the StoryKit after the grant period (e.g. continuing to record oral histories, training additional staff on interview collection, sharing the kit with other libraries)?

In what ways will the program impact your library and your community?

Related Materials

Please attach any letters of support from potential partner organizations or related program materials that might enhance your application (optional).

Affirm Program Requirements

Please affirm that, if awarded the StoryCorps @ your library program, your institution will comply with each of the following requirements.

  • Use designated sponsor credits and/or logos on all publicity materials.
  • File an online final report with the American Library Association by April 29, 2016.
  • Sign an agreement with StoryCorps agreeing to the terms of use for the database system and procedures, including confidentiality and liability for collecting personal information from the public. The agreement will also contain information regarding ownership of the materials and the permissible uses of the interviews by the library.
  • Record a minimum of 40 interviews according to StoryCorps training guidelines and methodology during the interview collection period of May-October, 2015.
  • Create a minimum of one public program celebrating the interviews you collect through the program.
  • Send two representatives to an intensive 2-day training in Brooklyn, NY on April 8-9, 2015.

To access the application system, sign in with your profile.