Thing 23: Digital storytelling

Digital storytelling plays an increasingly visible part in our daily lives. Mobile technologies and apps put the tools to capture and create stories into our hands every day and some organisations are also exploring ways to use storytelling via online tools to engage stakeholders. As the Shanachie team from “This Week in Libraries” often remind us, the mission of libraries includes the goals to “keep stories, make stories, share stories”, increasingly many of these are digital stories.  Your library clients and colleagues may have many different objectives for their digital storytelling activities (eg teaching ESL, compiling local history, sharing family history, collecting oral histories, presenting information in data visualisations and community engagement).




  • What roles does your library play in helping your communities to create, share and keep their own stories?
  • How much of the digital storytelling that is happening in your community right now will be accessible in five years time? How could the library keep a sample for readers and researchers of the future?
  • Are there priorities to consider when working with indigenous communities on digital storytelling projects? (eg. Kirsten Thorpe explores the Protocols for libraries and archives in Australia: incorporating Indigenous perspectives in the information field in her IFLA paper).
  • Can you help clients locate the resources they need for digital storytelling projects (eg. public domain or Creative Commons licensed music and images, storytelling apps and web based tools)?
  • What questions do you need to ask before setting up a digital storytelling project to capture local history? Prarienet have some useful tips to consider.

7 Comments on “Thing 23: Digital storytelling

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  7. From ‘Digital storytelling for communities’ – The amount of content produced for YouTube in a six-month period is greater than that produced by the three major American national television networks in 60 years of broadcasting (Wesch, 2008).

    Yikes! I use it in fits and starts and never really thought too much about how many are creating content. Because I wondered with digital storytelling how many people are prepared to do it? But a lot of the stuff on YouTube could be considered storytelling of some form or another. And that’s just one platform.

    I can see digital storytelling being important in remote communities and I like the idea of us having some stories attached to our website for people who have sick children, or can’t get to the library because they can’t find parking! I know it’s something we’ve been looking at for quite awhile, like everything it’s a matter of getting the time to do it while making sure everything else gets done!

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Jan Holmquist | Mylee Joseph | Kathryn Barwick 2013