NEW: Digital Story Station

This project is funded by the California State Library, and co-sponsored by the Historical Society of Pomona Valley. The goal of the project is to help you tell a story of particular importance to you, from your own life, that will also illuminate a piece of California history for others.

Why Tell Stories?

Stories help define who we are and how we fit into the world we live in. The Digital Story Station gives you the opportunity to spotlight something or someone, or some place, or some event that you care deeply about, and wish to preserve and share with friends and family. You will also add to our growing collection of digital stories available for public education, enjoyment and benefit. History is made of many personal stories that later become part of the larger story of our culture and society. Digital Stories are slices of history - the people's history  and your story will illuminate a piece of the larger story within which your story takes place.

Digital Story Station Orientation

The questions and answers below are meant to provide an overview of how the Digital Story Station Project works. Please contact the Library for additional information.

How do I make an Appointment to tell my Story?

You can make an appointment to tell your digital story by visiting the Special Collections Department of the Library any Mon-Wed from 2:00-6:00 pm. You can also make an appointment by calling the Library at 909-620-3709, Mon-Fri, from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 pm.

When will my Story be Recorded?

Recordings are made in the Special Collections Department on Thursdays and Fridays, between 12:00 Noon and 5:00 pm.

PLEASE NOTE: You will be required to sign a Release Form permitting the Library to record, distribute and archive your story, before we can begin to create your story.

How long will my story be?

Digital stories should be no longer than three to five minutes in length, and consist of
approximately 250-300 words. Library Staff can help you create a story of suitable length.

How long will it take me to make my digital story?

The length of time will depend on which type of story you decide to tell, how prepared you are with related materials, and how comfortable you are working with a computer and recording equipment, assisted by Library Staff. The three types of digital stories that you may create are:

1) The Recorded Interview (Basic):
You can record yourself telling your stories straight into the
computer using the built-in video camera. No photographs or
music. This is the best option if you have limited time and are
content with a no frills video. Plan to spend at least one hour at
the station.

2) Slideshow (Intermediate):
With as little as 10 photographs, you can create a slideshow with
a voice-over or background music. Plan to be at the station at
least two hours.

3) Mini-Movie (Advanced):
For advanced users, this is a combination of the recorded interview and
slideshow, using imported home movies, music, and other effects to create a complex short story. Plan on spending up to 3 hours at the station.

What should my story be about?

We suggest that you tell a story about one of the following:

1) Tell about an Event  that happened within your family
(celebration, memorial); that took place in community (parade,
festival, march), or perhaps a memorable event of nature
(earthquake, fire, heat wave, drought, memorable storm)

2) Tell about a Person - who is important to you in the course of
your California experience  they may be living or dead /
someone you may not even have known but influenced your life

3) Tell about a Place - this could be a city, a region, a
neighborhood, a park, a building, a gathering place that held
special meaning for you or even your own home

4) Tell a Family Story - perhaps you want to tell the history of
your family's life in California, moving to the State, or other
personal experiences

Library staff will help you brainstorm for story ideas, and sketch out the elements of your story, including your narrative - the words that you will use to tell your story.

What Should I Bring to the Station ?

To maximize your time at the Digital Story Station, we suggest that you take home this folder and use the enclosed Story Starter Form to help write your narrative. If you have decided to make a slideshow or mini-movie, choose and bring the photos and music you would like to include in your story. If you can bring the items in a digital format, it will speed up the process but if
not, the Library Staff will be able to import the information into a digital format.

PLEASE NOTE: if you choose to have music in your slideshow or video, it is best to
choose an instrumental track (without singing) so the music doesn't distract from your voice over.

PLEASE NOTE: only your personal or license-free recordings of film and music may be used otherwise you must obtain permission from the publisher of any licensed film or music.

When will my Story be finished?

Library staff will bring together all the components of your California of the Past story
through filming and editing. If your story consists only of you talking into the camera, we will try to complete your story in one week. It will take about two weeks to complete a story consisting of a slide show and your narrative/voice-over. A mini movie, consisting of video, pictures, music, narration, etc. will take about three weeks.

When your digital California of the Past story has been completed, Library Staff will contact you to come to the Library. We will provide you with a copy of your story on DVD and upload it to the California State Library's web site at