Library seeks military-life stories

Published 10:30 pm Monday, May 13, 2019


Suffolk Public Library staff are asking for active duty military members, veterans and their families to share their stories for “Suffolk Speaks,” the library’s oral history project.

Since spring 2017, staff have been collecting the stories of anyone who’s worked, lived or played in Suffolk. They use an iPad, a microphone and a list of conversation-starting questions for brief interviews that are either arranged by appointment or held at different outreach events and open recording sessions.

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Each of these interviews is published onto a SoundCloud playlist on the library’s website, with dozens of “oral histories” to date. These include local community members of all ages and backgrounds, Community Services Librarian Matt Thompson said.

“We would just really like to continue to grow the breadth of the project and really show how deep diversity runs in Suffolk,” Thompson said.

In recognition of National Military Appreciation Month this May, the library is holding several open recording sessions to ask participants how the military has touched their lives and their community.

No registration is required for these sessions, and each interview is expected to take only five to 10 minutes, Thompson said.

These sessions are meant for active duty members and veterans of any branch of the armed forces, as well as family members who have also been touched by military service.

“It’s such as significant part of our community, not only economically but (also) historically and personally as well,” Thompson said, “People in the armed forces are called upon to sacrifice in a very significant and personal way — especially considering the way it touches families.”

“Suffolk Speaks” open recording sessions for military. and their families will be held this Tuesday at North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road; this Thursday at Morgan Memorial Library, 443 W. Washington St.; and May 20 at North Suffolk Library.

All sessions will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Participants do not need to be library members, and the sessions are open to people of all abilities. Call 514-7323 and ask to speak with a manager if you or someone in your party will require accommodations in order to participate.

Visit for more information on the oral history project.