Calling all Young Citizen Journalists

With no school these days and lots of time on our hands, there is a great opportunity for everyone to catch up on stuff – unless you’re being parent-schooled! Even if your day is still full, we in South Dublin Libraries need your help to document our world now, and the world in days gone by.

In the 1930s, the Irish Folklore Commission asked schoolchildren to collect stories from their parents and grandparents about their lives when they were young; games they played, local stories about the places they lived, famous people they knew, anything at all.

This is where you come in. We would like to bring that project right up to date. Today’s world, even in normal times, is very different to the world our parents and grandparents lived in. With the Covid19 pandemic, the world looks and feels very strange to all of us. When things return to normal we could easily forget how things were in these times.

What can I do?

We’d love to hear about your world today, and the world of your parents, grandparents (even your great-grandparents!). This can involve sitting down with someone of an older generation – parent or grandparent – and ask questions. Take down their memories by taking notes. Build their memories into a story.

You also have a story. How are you spending your days now? Do you miss school? What’s the first thing you want to do when you’re allowed out again? We’d really like to see photos too. Funny signs in shops, closed-up shops, your closed-up school. You probably have a mobile phone or even a camera you can use to document this time in photographs. Maybe you’ll be talking to your kids about this time!

What will I send?

Parents/Grandparents recollections: Either handwritten or typed up. Drawings, paintings, anything!  Find out how things were different when they were young. What was school like? What games did they play? What kind of phones did they have, television etc? Try to get them to talk about everything they can remember.

A diary of your day: How are you passing the time, what are you allowed to do, what are you not allowed to do? Describe your hobbies. What books are you reading? Do you use Social Media – is it helping you stay connected, or is it a bad thing? Do you walk in a local park? Photograph the nature there?

Photographs of your area: Maybe photos of how different your locality looks now as opposed to how it looked before Christmas when times were normal. If you are sending photos, include a short description. Where it was taken (important!), and why you took it. What it represents.

Where do I send it?

Please send your stories and photos to localstudies@sdublincoco.ie or by post to Local Studies, County Library, Tallaght, Dublin 24.

What happens to my stuff?

In the same way as the Irish Folklore Commission did in the 1930s, we would like to save your memories and those of your family’s older generation for the people of the future to enjoy and give them a real picture of past lives described by those who lived them.

We plan to scan and upload all the material we receive to our online digital archive  http://source.southdublinlibraries.ie. We will create a special collection that will remain as a digital ‘Time Capsule’ for future generations.

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