By Tamera Robinson
Rochester University’s Ham Library staff is collecting COVID-19 pandemic experiences from students to document the historical event. The goal is that this collection will be a resource for future students to understand what it was like to be a student at RU during a pandemic.
The library staff is collecting items in physical and digital format, including photographs and images, videos, audio recordings, social media posts (ex. could include screenshots of tweets), or journal diaries.
Every Monday from 11-11:40 a.m. in the AG Media Studio, located in the Alma Gatewood basement, students can show up to record their experiences on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Students can remain anonymous or identify themselves to claim ownership of their experiences. If students include an image of themselves or another person, it is recommended that they complete this release form, which gives permission for materials to be submitted to publication.
Allison Jimenez, director of library services, said the initial suggestion for the collection came from Dr. Carol Cooper, professor of mass communication. “She noticed that Cambridge University and Oakland University had started their own COVID-19 collections to document different experiences during the pandemic,” Jimenez said.
Several faculty and library staff thought that creating digital repositories for students, staff and faculty to share experiences, thoughts and feelings about living through the pandemic would be beneficial.
“We hope people can use the collection as a way to document their lives during COVID. We want this collection to be a reminder of our shared struggles and celebrations during this unprecedented time in history. Most importantly, it is an opportunity to bring the RU community together and heal as we continue to navigate COVID and how it has changed our lives,” Jimenez said.
To send items to the digital collection, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail physical items to Susan Wizinsky, instructional design librarian, at 800 W. Avon Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48307.