Contribute to #ChathamStrong_ Sharing in Place Project

Share Your Shelter in Place Experience to Build the Library’s Collection

We are living in a historic moment. The COVID-19 pandemic is an event that may mark a generation, and we recognize the importance and unique opportunity to collect and save these experiences.  Preserving local history is a core and vital function of the Library, and we want to invite you - community members, businesses, and organizations - to share your stories, artifacts, and any form of artistic or creative expression about life during the pandemic. 

We are calling this project #ChathamStrongStories: Sharing in Place, and its purpose is to create a library collection that will enable our community and future generations to learn about and from the Chatham area during this time. We aim to create a permanent, historic  collection to exhibit and/or publish digitally and/or physically in the future.

What is the library looking for?

We are looking for personal stories, experiences, or creative endeavors that reflect how your world looks or is changing during this time.  There are many ways you could share your story: 

  • Write: Record your everyday experiences, feelings, reflections, and hopes - no matter how big or small. You can keep a journal, write poetry, pen a script 
  • Create Art: Draw or paint
  • Start a video blog or speak into a recorder
  • Take photographs or video of your environment/community/life in quarantine
  • Compose songs
  • Upload records from your business that document how it responded to the crisis (social media graphics, e-mail or mail correspondence, business announcements, etc.)
  • Save your social media posts
  • And many more.  Be creative.

We welcome raw and original materials. To contribute to the #ChathamStrongStories: Sharing in Place Project, complete the online entry form and agree to the release waiver by checking the checkbox.

Can I contribute more than one submission?

Yes. Anyone interested in sharing work can submit multiple pieces.

Who can contribute to the #ChathamStrongStories: Sharing in Place Project? 

All ages are welcome to participate!  The project is open to anyone in the Chatham area and members of our businesses community. No library card is required to submit items.

How can I share my story?

All contributions must be available in digital format. If you create any work in paper or physical form, please document it in one of the following formats for submission:

JPEG, PNG, PDF, MOV, MP3, etc. (Files must be less than 2 MB)  If files are too large, we can send a link for file transfer. 

Contribute to #ChathamStrong_ Sharing in Place Project

Email [email protected] if you require help or have questions regarding the  use of this form. Once the library building is reopened, we can help you convert your analog documents to digital files best fit for the project.

Is there any deadline?

With the unknown future of the pandemic, the Library will accept contributions on an ongoing basis. Continue to check our website at and follow us on Facebook at for updates.

Where will my contribution go after I submit it to the library?

After you complete an online contribution form, it will be directed to library staff for review. The Library reserves all rights to publish the work in appropriate platforms in the future. By sharing your contact information, you will be notified with updates about the project. Library staff may also get in touch to learn more about what you’ve shared.

Your contributions may be included in a digital or physical exhibit curated by Chatham Area Public Library and may eventually be included in larger statewide or national digital archives, such as the Illinois Digital Archive or the Digital Public Library of America.

We look forward to your contributions, and please email [email protected] with any questions.