Panel: Capturing Voices in the Heat of the Moment: Election Reflections 2016*
Sponsored by Brian Cassidy, Bookseller
How will we tell the story of the 2016 presidential election to future generations? How will our children’s children understand the popular political uprising we witnessed last fall? On the morning of November 9th, curators and librarians in the Utah State University Library’s Special Collections and Archives recognized the need to capture both the dismayed and the jubilant voices of the electorate, examples of which we witnessed pouring onto our own social media channels. Raw emotions gave way to an urgent professional responsibility to make sure that these reactions were preserved. By noon, an expedited IRB proposal was submitted and we were discussing survey instruments, metadata, and marketing strategy. By 5:00 the Election Reflections project was launched, complete with a website. Using the power of social media, the project quickly took on a life of its own. This session will tell the story of how and why we launched a project to gather immediate responses to a stunning political upset—and how our project could serve as a model for others looking to capture voices in similar moments. We will also report on the creation of the resulting digital collection, which within 24 hours had already received deposits from 22 states and one Canadian province.
*This session will be recorded.