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Grand Rapids Public Library asking for COVID-19 story submissions

The stories will be preserved in the library's archival collections to be used by future researchers.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Public Library would like to archive personal stories about COVID-19 for the use of future researchers. 

“This is obviously a very historic moment that we’re going through,"  said Julie Tabberer, GRHSC manager, "and we want to hear from people about what day to day life is like, what your experiences are, how life has changed for you, how you’re thinking.” 

The submissions can include video, audio or photos and any West Michigan resident is welcomed to participate. Most of the questions are optional and participants can share whatever they are comfortable with. The stories will become a part of GRPL's permanent archival collections and will give scholars, historians and medical researchers a record to study in the future.

So far, they have received about 60 stories, but they would like many more. They want to hear from everyone, with any type of story about living through this pandemic. 

"I hope 50 years from now, or 100 years from now when historians read these stories, they can learn from what we experienced today," said Tabberer, "that if maybe there are other epidemics or other things people are facing, they can lean from our experiences and learn to cope with whatever happens down the road in a more caring and thoughtful way."

The submissions will be anonymous until the year 2092. Names will then be included in the collection for research purposes. 

Grand Rapids Public Museum is also collecting stories and artifacts for a future exhibit. 

To submit a story or learn more visit the GRPL's website, or call the library at 616-988-5492.

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