Two workshops (the second added due to demand) that engaged local Boomers in gathering and recording digital, first-person narratives that spoke to the social, political, and personal aspects of Berkeley's voluntary school desegregation of 1964-68 – a turbulent period in Berkeley's history. Digital recordings of 13 narratives were completed. These stories, now on DVD, are available as part of the library's circulating collection and also as downloadable movies on the library's website. In addition, a program is planned for 2010 at which the final narratives will be shown to the public. This project provided the local community with a much longed for opportunity to revisit, discuss, re-evaluate and share stories about this pivotal period, and led to community healing and legacy building. It also increased library visibility and appreciation. Training in storytelling and digital technologies at the two workshops was provided by the project's partner, Center for Digital Storytelling. The library has subsequently set up a volunteer-run digital storytelling workstation that will continue to gather stories on this and other topics of community interest.
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A unique "storytelling" approach to engage Berkeley boomers who were part of the community's voluntary school desegregation in the mid-1960s has resulted in more open dialogue and discussion about today's most pressing social and economic issues.