Bethlehem Public Library collecting quarantine memories for archive

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BETHLEHEM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Bethlehem Public Library is collecting recent memories of life during quarantine in order to share and express community member’s voices that reflect their personal experiences during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Library says this is a unique historical opportunity for new generations who ask “What was living through the pandemic like?”

Community members are encouraged to submit their thoughts, along with images, video or audio clips, including interviews with others. The Library is looking for personal experiences with details that are meaningful, even if it is just one instance or moment. An example could include something such as, “Everything still seemed normal to me until I went down the paper goods aisle in the grocery store, and all the shelves were empty.”

The Library says their focus is not on the global situation, but the ordinary lives of community members to help create a regional archive of experiences to be shared with future generations.

Narratives and images can be e-mailed to quarantinememories@bethpl.org. Those submitting their memories and any attachments grant unrestricted use to Bethlehem Public Library. The Library says personal contact information will not be made public. Submissions can also be made through the library’s website here.

Below are some questions to get people thinking about their quarantine memories:

  • How did the look of your neighborhood change, especially at different times of day?
  • What was the impact on events that you had already planned for (weddings, proms, birthdays, graduations, church/temple/mosque events, family reunions, etc.)?
  • How did your routines change? What was the first thing you thought of every morning?
  • How did you keep in touch with people you normally saw on a regular basis?
  • Did you lose touch with anyone as a result of quarantine?
  • Or did you reconnect with someone you had previously lost touch with?
  • If you worked from home, what were the negative aspects? Were there any positives?
  • Did you get to know your neighbors better?
  • Did you witness an unusual act of kindness?
  • How easy/difficult was it to manage emotions, and anxiety?
  • Did you spend more time thinking about the past?

Bethlehem Public Library is located at 451 Delaware Avenue in Delmar. Call (518) 439-9314 or visit their website for more information. The library is temporarily closed to the public, but curbside pickup is available Monday-Friday, from 2-6 p.m.

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