Library announces journaling project

| April 8, 2020

The Coshocton Public Library is offering a fun project on their Facebook page for writers confined at home who may enjoy keeping a journal about this unprecedented time in history. It is an invitation to capture your own personal experience and keep a COVID-19 journal.

“The journal project unfolded kind of gradually,” said Holli Rainwater, outreach coordinator. “I was already planning on doing a Facebook Live video on journaling for patrons of the library. I have done a few journaling programs at the library in the past and I thought it would be a good coping tool for all of us to help get through this strange time with some grace and insight and to have a written record of this historic moment for our descendants.”

The idea to collect them and file them in the local history room came from Deborah Crowdy, youth services coordinator at the library.

“Even though the library is closed, our staff is busy working from home,” Rainwater said. “Journaling your own personal experience at this time is valuable historically and gives insight into the life of everyday people. We want people to keep their journals for themselves first of all – to make them pertinent to their own experiences. When it comes to sharing them with the library, they may want to share only a portion instead of the whole thing. There will certainly be flexibility in that. Why should we write? It’s human nature and humans are spiritual beings. We are writers whether we call ourselves writers or not.”

Journaling, putting pen to paper is a way of recording your life.

Rainwater wrote her first diary in 1973. “It was important at the ripe old age of 12 to make a record of who I was,” she said.

Rainwater shared a few historical figures for inspiration like Albert Einstein who always carried a notebook in his pocket.

“The act of writing it down, sort of cements it into our brain,” she said.

Leonardo da Vinci wrote in his journal three times a day – upside down and backwards. It was crucial to his accomplishments.

“Lewis and Clark kept a diary during their expedition of the Western portion of the United States with drawings of plants and animals they saw,” Rainwater said. “It provided a great record.”

Louisa May Alcott author of the Little House series of books, started writing when she was a girl for money to help her family.

Anne Frank kept a diary while in hiding at age 13 from 1942 until 1944 to document her life during the German Occupation in World War II.

“Diaries teach us a lot about what it takes to be human,” Rainwater said. “The main thing I would encourage people to do is to write for yourself and your grandchildren. Let your writing be natural, as if you are telling a story. Include specific details about these days. Things that we take for granted about everyday things will be fascinating to future generations.”

For information about the journal project go to the Coshocton Public Library Facebook page and watch Holli Rainwater’s video about “Journal Keeping: Benefits, Inspiration and Tips.”

“We will work out the details for collecting the journals or journal entries once we get back in the building and we will post information on our Facebook page, website, newsletter, etc.,” she said.

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