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Local library needs your help documenting this unique time in history

Fairfax County Public Library is collecting photographs, videos and journal entries to help document the pandemic.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — The coronavirus has impacted just about everyone, around the nation and across the world, in some way. The Fairfax County Public Library wants to help document this moment in history.

Chris Barbuschak, with the FCPL, said the library has already received more than 60 submissions in a short amount of time. People in the community have been sending the library everything from pictures of essential workers to journal entries and podcast episodes.

"Some of the other things we’ve collected are photographs, people wearing their face masks throughout the community, capturing the moment when the Blue Angels flew over and artwork that people have created expressing themselves from this time," said Barbuschak.

Barbuschak said the idea for the project got started with the help of a Canterbury Woods Elementary School teacher Jessica Leiter.

"I decided then it needs to be more than a school project. Students are home and they need to know that their work is meaningful," said Leiter.

Every week, students have the opportunity to fill out virtual journals where they are given different topics from interviewing a family member to sharing a silver lining moment.

Credit: Nicole DiAntonio

"The questions are as simple as 'How has your neighborhood changed?' What I've heard over and over again is that neighbors are now talking to each other and seeing their neighbors. People are out walking, biking, hiking and this is the best part. Also, 'What is the hardest part about living through this big historical moment?'" said Leiter.

Leiter said this project has brought her class together even while they continue to social distance.

"I can’t say enough about this incredible group of kids I taught this year. It breaks my heart that I cannot see them in person. It is very hard as a teacher to not be able to interact with them. And I know they miss us," said Leiter.

The students will continue writing out their online journals through the remainder of the year. Their entries will eventually be part of a live archive you can access on the FCPL website.

"This is the first time we’ve actually documented experiences in real time and having this responsibility to collect these experiences before they are lost to history," said Barbuschak.

Credit: Nicole DiAntonio

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Credit: Nicole DiAntonio

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