National Day of Listening

The day after Thanksgiving (November 28, 2008), has been declared by StoryCorps as the first annual National Day of Listening.

This holiday season, ask the people around you about their lives — it could be your grandmother, a teacher, or someone from the neighborhood. By listening to their stories, you will be telling them that they matter and they won’t ever be forgotten. It may be the most meaningful time you spend this year.

You can preserve the interview using recording equipment readily available in most homes, such as tape recorders, computers, video cameras or a pen and paper. Our free Do-It-Yourself Guide is easy to use and will prepare you and your interview partner to record a memorable conversation, no matter which method of recording you prefer.

The National Day of Listening site has a four-step scheme to help with the process, including the DIY guide and a video. This looks like a great way to build up a family or community oral history.

The process that StoryCorps describes could of course be done any time, but most of us are inclined to procrastinate. We tend to vacillate between thinking that it’s nothing more than listening again to an old story and thinking that it requires fancy equipment, special expertise, and many days of hard work. Maybe setting aside a National Day, calling for one hour of serious listening, and offering a four-step process will make it easier for any of us to do.

One thought on “National Day of Listening

  1. Chip,

    Thanks for posting about StoryCorps’ National Day of Listening. For anyone who did participate, or are planning on recording their loved ones this holiday season, a great last minute gift idea is to pair a copy of the interview with a copy of the New York Times bestseller “Listening is an Act of Love.” This compilation of just some of StoryCorps’ amazing, touching stories provides a meaningful addition to the holiday season, and gives that special someone even more incredible stories to read! The book can be linked to (as well as recording tips) at

    Best wishes for the new year,


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