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National Day of Listening

Posted about 14 days ago by April S

Posted in Children & Parenting, eBooks & eAudiobooks, History, Politics, & Biography, Movies, Music, & Audiobooks and Self-help & Spirituality | Tagged with active listening, African American Oral History Collection, American culture, anecdotes, children, communication skills, conversation, family, family histories, fatherhood, fathers , friendship, good listener, gratitude, inspirational, interviews, LGBTQ, listening, listening skills, local history, Lucas County, motherhood, mothers, National Day of Listening, NPR, Oral History, personal narratives, relationships, social life and customs, stories, storytelling, Toledo History and Toledo, Ohio

Everyone has a story to tell and everyone deserves to be heard. People feel appreciated, understood, and even loved when someone takes the time to really listen to them. 

Lately, I've been reading articles and watching videos about how we're all so connected yet less happy. I know just thinking about it is a bit of a downer, but really it's an interesting topic and one that deserves more attention. In the age of social media we're sharing more, but connecting less. What's wrong with this picture? After all, how can you share more and yet still feel disconnected? So, ask yourself this: when was the last time you had a real conversation with someone and truly listened to the other person? By truly listening, I mean you weren't just waiting for your turn to speak.

What is the National Day of Listening?

Launched in 2008 by StoryCorps, the National Day of Listening takes place every year the day after Thanksgiving. The project encourages people to sit down with a loved one and record a meaningful conversation.


An Intro to StoryCorps from our Founder Dave Isay


Let the library help you celebrate the National Day of Listening

Record Your Story

Storycorps launched the National Day of Listening as a way to encourage families to set aside the day after Thanksgiving as a time to share and record the history of their family, friends, and community.

Visit StoryCorps.org for a DIY guide and to upload your recording to Storycorps’ Wall of Listening. Copies of the questions will also be available for pickup at the Main Library, King Road and West Toledo branches at the beginning of November. #NationalDayofListening

Use the Library’s recording studio to capture your interview on our equipment or use your phone in our acoustically ready space.

Call the West Toledo Branch at 419-259-5290 or the King Road Branch at 419-259-5380 to reserve your time on the following dates:

Friday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. | King Road and West Toledo

Saturday, Nov. 25, 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. | King Road and West Toledo

Check out the Adrene Cole Collection

The African American Oral History Collection of Lucas County connects people and generations by preserving and sharing local voices and perspectives for future generations.

Claude Black | Adrene Cole Collection - Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Check out Sight and Sound

Join host Tom Walton as he interviews Toledo’s top public figures; celebrating their unique impact on Toledo history.

Sam Szor | Sight & Sound - Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Videos by StoryCorps

Two very curious brothers ask their dad some outlandish questions

Two nurse practitioners talk about treating infants exposed to opioids

Brian talks to Matt, who has been living on the streets, about the day they met

Ronald Clark remembers living inside a branch of the New York Public Library

The Bookmobile


Books by StoryCorps

Listening is an act of love : a celebration of American life from the StoryCorps Project / edited and with an introduction by Dave Isay

Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project edited and with an introduction by Dave Isay

Print | Audio

From more than ten thousand interviews, StoryCorps - the largest oral history project in the nation's history-presents a tapestry of American stories, told by the people who lived them to the people they love.

StoryCorps began with the idea that everyone has an important story to tell. And since 2003, this remarkable project has been collecting the stories of everyday Americans and preserving them for future generations. In New York City and in mobile recording booths traveling the country-from small towns to big cities, at Native American reservations and an Army post-StoryCorps is collecting the memories of Americans from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. The project represents a wondrous nationwide celebration of our shared humanity, capturing for posterity the stories that define us and bind us together.

In Listening Is an Act of Love, StoryCorps founder and legendary radio producer Dave Isay selects some of the most remarkable stories from the already vast collection and arranges them thematically into a moving portrait of American life. The voices here connect us to real people and their lives-to their experiences of profound joy, sadness, courage and despair, to good times and hard times, to good deeds and misdeeds.

To read this book is to be reminded of how rich and varied the American storybook truly is, how resistant to easy categorization or caricature. Above all, this book honors the gift each StoryCorps participant has made, from the raw material of his or her life, to the Americans who will come after. We are our history, individually and collectively, and Listening Is an Act of Love touchingly reminds us of this powerful truth.

Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps by Dave Isay

Ties That Bind: Stories of Love & Gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps edited by Dave Isay

Print | Audio | Pocket Audio

Ties That Bind honors the people who nourish and strengthen us. StoryCorps founder Dave Isay draws from ten years of the revolutionary oral history project’s rich archives, collecting conversations that celebrate the power of the human bond and capture the moment at which individuals become family. Between blood relations, friends, coworkers, and neighbors, in the most trying circumstances and in the unlikeliest of places, enduring connections are formed and lives are forever changed.

The stories shared in Ties That Bind reveal our need to reach out, to support, and to share life’s burdens and joys. We meet two brothers, separately cast out by their parents, who reconnect and rebuild a new family around each other. We encounter unexpected joy: A gay woman reveals to her beloved granddaughter that she grew up believing that family was a happiness she would never be able to experience. We witness life-changing friendship: An Iraq war veteran recalls his wartime bond with two local children and how his relationship with his wife helped him overcome the trauma of losing them.

Against unspeakable odds, at their most desperate moments, the individuals we meet in Ties That Bind find their way to one another, discovering hope and healing. Commemorating ten years of StoryCorps, the conversations collected in Ties That Bind are testament to the transformational power of listening.

Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps - edited by Dave Isay

Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps edited with an Introduction by Dave Isay

Print | Large Print

"What I want to say to you is that sometimes life catches you by surprise and you feel unequipped to handle what it brings you, but every bit of life you've lived before that moment equips you to live through it. That's what I would give to you." - Fanni Victoria Green-Lemons, in conversation with her daughter, Danyealah Green-Lemons.

In Mom, Dave Isay - StoryCorps's founder and the editor of the project's bestselling collection, Listening Is an Act of Love - presents a celebration of American mothers. Featuring StoryCorps's most revelatory stories on the subject, Mom looks across a diversity of experience to present an entirely original portrait of motherhood.

Through conversations between parents and children, husbands and wives, siblings and friends, the life of the American mother unfolds. In stories that take us from the woods of New Hampshire to urban Detroit and beyond, we meet mothers and children from all walks of life-an immigrant mother instilling in her children the importance of education, adult children caring for an elderly parent, a woman remembering the sound of her mother's laugh, and mothers and children of all ages learning to grow into new roles over time. Visiting families in moments of profound joy and sadness, courage and despair, struggle and triumph, we learn new truths about that most primal and sacred of bonds-the relationship between mother and child.

With this vital contribution to the American storybook, StoryCorps has created a tribute to mothers that honors the wealth of our national experience. An appreciation of the wisdom and generosity passed between mothers and children, this generation to the next, Mom offers powerful lessons in the meaning of family and the expansiveness of the human heart.
StoryCorps OutLoud: Stories from the LGBTQ community, gathered by StoryCorps and heard on NPR - hosted by Ari Shapiro, featuring Dave Isay

StoryCorps OutLoud: Stories from the LGBTQ community, gathered by StoryCorps and heard on NPR hosted by Ari Shapiro, featuring Dave Isay

Audio | eAudio

StoryCorps recognizes the profound historical importance of capturing the stories of the LGBTQ community and the urgent need for this work to happen now. StoryCorps OutLoud is a multi-year initiative dedicated to recording and preserving LGBTQ stories across America. OutLoud honors the stories of those who lived before the 1969 Stonewall uprisings, celebrates the lives of LGBTQ youth, and amplifies the voices of those most often excluded from the historical record. The end result is a diverse collection of stories that enriches our nation’s history. StoryCorps OutLoud sets out across the country to record and preserve the stories of LGBT individuals, along with their families and friends.

OutLoud is a project undertaken in the memory of Isay's father, psychiatrist Dr. Richard Isay. Professionally credited for helping to persuade the mental health community that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, Dr. Isay was himself a closeted gay man for many years. He came out to his son at the age of 52 and, in 2011, he married his partner of 31 years, Gordon Harrell, before passing away suddenly from cancer on June 28, 2012.

On June 28, 2014, the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, StoryCorps inaugurated OutLoud, a three-year project to capture the experiences of L.G.B.T.Q. people. In particular, the project will seek stories from young people, minorities and those who lived before the uprising, which was a response by gays to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village and helped precipitate the gay rights movement.

All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps edited by Dave Isay

All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps edited and with an introduction by Dave Isay

Print | Pocket Audio

In All There Is, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay shares stories of love and marriage from the revolutionary oral history project, revealing the many and remarkable journeys that relationships can take.

In stories that carry us from the excitement and anticipation of courtship to the deep connection of lifelong commitment, we discover that love is found in the most unexpected of places—a New York tollbooth, a military base in Iraq, an airport lounge—and learn that the course it takes is as unpredictable as life itself. As the storytellers in this book start careers, build homes, and raise families, we witness the life-affirming joy of partnership, the comfort of shared sorrows, and profound gratitude in the face of loss.

These stories are also testament to the heart’s remarkable endurance. In All There Is we encounter love that survives discrimination, illness, poverty, distance—even death. In the courage of people’s passion we are reminded of the strength and resilience of the human spirit. This powerful collection bares witness to real love, in its many varied forms, enriching our understanding of that most magical feeling.

Callings (a StoryCorps book): the purpose and passion of work / Dave Isay ; with Maya Millett

The Callings (a StoryCorps book): The Purpose of Passion of Work by Dave Isay with Maya Millett

Print

Stories of passion, courage, and commitment, following individuals as they pursue the work they were born to do, from StoryCorps founder Dave Isay.

In Callings, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay presents unforgettable stories from people doing what they love. Some found their paths at a very young age, others later in life; some overcame great odds or upturned their lives in order to pursue what matters to them. Many of their stories have never been broadcast or published by StoryCorps until now.

We meet a man from the barrios of Texas whose harrowing experiences in a family of migrant farmers inspired him to become a public defender. We meet a longtime waitress who takes pride in making regulars and newcomers alike feel at home in her Nashville diner. We meet a young man on the South Side of Chicago who became a teacher in order to help at-risk teenagers like the ones who killed his father get on the right track. We meet a woman from Little Rock who helps former inmates gain the skills and confidence they need to rejoin the workforce. Together they demonstrate how work can be about much more than just making a living, that chasing dreams and finding inspiration in unexpected places can transform a vocation into a calling. Their shared sense of passion, honor, and commitment brings deeper meaning and satisfaction to every aspect of their lives.

An essential contribution to the beloved StoryCorps collection, Callings is an inspiring tribute to rewarding work and the American pursuit of happiness.

Ted Talks about technology, listening, and conversation


Connected, but alone? | Sherry Turkle - Ted Talks


The Power of deliberate listening | Ronnie Polaneczky - TEDxPhiladelphia


10 Ways to have a better conversation | Celeste Headlee - Ted Talks

Books about conversation and listening

The lost art of good conversation : a mindful way to connect with others and enrich everyday life / Sakyong Mipham

The Lost Art of Good Conversation: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life by Sakyong Mipham

Print

Cutting through all the white noise, chatter, and superficiality our cell phones and social media cause, one of Tibet's highest and most respected spiritual leaders offers simple and practical advice to help us increase our attentions spans, become better listeners, and strive to appreciate the people around us.

In a world of iPhones and connectivity to social media and email, we are all in constant connection with one another. Then why are so many people feeling burned out, distant from colleagues, and abandoned by family and friends? In this new book from the bestselling author of Running with the Mind of Meditation, the Sakyong uses the basic principles of the Shambhala tradition--meditation and a sincere belief in the inherent wisdom, compassion, and courage of all beings--to help readers to listen and speak more mindfully with loved ones, co-workers, strangers, and even ourselves.

In this easy to understand and helpful book, Sakyong Mipham provides inspiring ideas and practical tips on how to be more present in your day-to-day life, helping us to communicate in ways that elevates the dignity of everyone involved. Great for families, employees and employers and everyone who spend too much time on Facebook, Instagram, and feel "disconnected" in our "connected" world, Good Conversation is a journey back to basics.

The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships by Michael P. Nichols, PhD

The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships by Michael P. Nichols, PhD

Print

One person talks; the other listens. It's so basic that we take it for granted. Unfortunately, most of us think of ourselves as better listeners than we actually are. Why do we so often fail to connect when speaking with family members, romantic partners, colleagues, or friends? How do emotional reactions get in the way of real communication? This thoughtful, witty, and empathic book has already helped over 125,000 readers break through conflicts and transform their personal and professional relationships. Experienced therapist Mike Nichols provides vivid examples, easy-to-learn techniques, and practical exercises for becoming a better listener--and making yourself heard and understood, even in difficult situations.

Reclaiming conversation : the power of talk in a digital age / Sherry Turkle

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle

Print | eBook | eAudio

Renowned media scholar Sherry Turkle investigates how a flight from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivity—and why reclaiming face-to-face conversation can help us regain lost ground.

We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.

Preeminent author and researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over thirty years. Long an enthusiast for its possibilities, here she investigates a troubling consequence: at work, at home, in politics, and in love, we find ways around conversation, tempted by the possibilities of a text or an email in which we don’t have to look, listen, or reveal ourselves.

We develop a taste for what mere connection offers. The dinner table falls silent as children compete with phones for their parents’ attention. Friends learn strategies to keep conversations going when only a few people are looking up from their phones. At work, we retreat to our screens although it is conversation at the water cooler that increases not only productivity but commitment to work. Online, we only want to share opinions that our followers will agree with – a politics that shies away from the real conflicts and solutions of the public square.

The case for conversation begins with the necessary conversations of solitude and self-reflection. They are endangered: these days, always connected, we see loneliness as a problem that technology should solve. Afraid of being alone, we rely on other people to give us a sense of ourselves, and our capacity for empathy and relationship suffers. We see the costs of the flight from conversation everywhere: conversation is the cornerstone for democracy and in business it is good for the bottom line. In the private sphere, it builds empathy, friendship, love, learning, and productivity.

But there is good news: we are resilient. Conversation cures.

Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools, and the workplace, Turkle argues that we have come to a better understanding of where our technology can and cannot take us and that the time is right to reclaim conversation. The most human—and humanizing—thing that we do.

The virtues of person-to-person conversation are timeless, and our most basic technology, talk, responds to our modern challenges. We have everything we need to start, we have each other.

We need to talk : how to have conversations that matter / Celeste Headlee

We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter by Celeste Headlee

Print

In this urgent and insightful book, public radio journalist Celeste Headlee shows us how to bridge what divides us--by having real conversations.

We Need to Talk is an important read for a conversationally-challenged, disconnected age. Headlee is a talented, honest storyteller, and her advice has helped me become a better spouse, friend, and mother.” (Jessica Lahey, author of New York Times bestseller The Gift of Failure)

Today most of us communicate from behind electronic screens, and studies show that Americans feel less connected and more divided than ever before. The blame for some of this disconnect can be attributed to our political landscape, but the erosion of our conversational skills as a society lies with us as individuals.

And the only way forward, says Headlee, is to start talking to each other. In We Need to Talk, she outlines the strategies that have made her a better conversationalist—and offers simple tools that can improve anyone’s communication. For example:

  • BE THERE OR GO ELSEWHERE. Human beings are incapable of multitasking, and this is especially true of tasks that involve language. Think you can type up a few emails while on a business call, or hold a conversation with your child while texting your spouse? Think again.
  • CHECK YOUR BIAS. The belief that your intelligence protects you from erroneous assumptions can end up making you more vulnerable to them. We all have blind spots that affect the way we view others. Check your bias before you judge someone else.
  • HIDE YOUR PHONE. Don’t just put down your phone, put it away. New research suggests that the mere presence of a cell phone can negatively impact the quality of a conversation.

Whether you’re struggling to communicate with your kid’s teacher at school, an employee at work, or the people you love the most—Headlee offers smart strategies that can help us all have conversations that matter.

Articles about conversation and listening

The Lost Art of ConversationUSA Today

Is Conversation a Lost Art? - Wonderopolis

Saving the Lost Art of ConversationThe Atlantic

10 Tips to Talk About Anything with AnyonePsychology Today

The Art and Value of Good ListeningPsychology Today

Active Listening: Hear What People are Actually Saying - Mind Tools


Featured Image Credit: Conversation at the 'IJ' lake, Amsterdam by Thijs Paanakker (flickr)

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