Bulldog Tales
Posted 10/17/2017 10:56AM

Library payphone converted to book stories

Each month Bullis Library is featuring stories shared by students in the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School as well as an administrator, a teacher, and a staff member in its display, Bulldog Tales. Recordings are stored on a vintage rotary phone so that library visitors can listen to Bullis community members talk about books that have inspired them.These stories are also archived in Flipgrid:

The phone is part of a national project, Call Me Ishmael, which allows people to record themselves talking about books that are meaningful to them. The project gives people a unique way to share how stories get woven into their lives.

Each month, the Bullis librarians Lisa Clarke and Katherine Brewer collect and display recordings on the phone from the Bullis community about the stories that touched them. They update the display to feature new recommendations from students from each division, faculty members, staff members, administrators. Parents and alumni are also invited to participate!

The project started when Upper School Math Teacher and Technology Coordinator Stacey Roshan discovered the Call Me Ishmael project and convinced Bullis administrators to fund the purchase of the phone. Ms. Roshan asked Upper School teachers to kickoff the project with some of their own recommendations which could be heard on the phone and also via this soundcloud page.

The program expanded throughout the year, as more and more members of the community got involved to share their favorite books.

"My desk is near the rotary phone display where people can listen to the stories," said Upper School Librarian Lisa Clarke. "I see people stop and listen all the time, and I like to watch their faces as they react to a tale, usually with a giggle or smile. Listeners are getting a kick out of the Lower School student recordings, and are touched by the depth of many very personal connections people make with the books."

Ms. Roshan agrees. "The biggest thing that stands out to me is how this project allows us to get to know students & staff on a deeper, more personal level. The stories that I've heard through the phone have opened my eyes in ways and helped me get to know people in a way I may not have had the opportunity to learn about that person otherwise. Using stories to build an even closer, more empathetic and understanding school community is a great benefit of the program. The book recs are great, but that personal sharing piece is what I love most."

How can you take part?

  • Send the librarians an email and let us know that you are interested in participating sometime between November-June. Let us know which book you will be discussing. Email or Katherine_brewer@bullis.or
  • Make an audio recording of yourself, just 1-2 minutes, explaining why the book was meaningful to you. Use the Voice Memo app on your phone, or any other device .
  • Take a "shelfie," a picture of yourself holding the book.
  • Send the audio recording and "shelfie" to Mrs. Brewer or Ms. Clarke

Share your favorite stories and keep the connections going!

Bullis School
10601 Falls Road Potomac MD 20854
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