Like NPR’s StoryCorps and several of the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative’s digital collections, The LISTEN Project preserves the community’s life stories through narrative and is an important piece of local history for future generations to discover.

The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative (HCPLC) is a treasure within our community. In the last year and a half, the HCPLC has worked hard to provide lots of programming. One of the newest programs is The LISTEN Project.

The LISTEN collection showcases life stories read by the authors, and the recordings are available as part of the library’s digital collections online. The library’s digital collections are available to everyone online via their personal devices or by using the computers available at your local branch library. A library card is not required.

The LISTEN Project was initiated by the Bloomingdale Writers Connection (BWC) and is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Bloomingdale Regional Library and Hillsborough County Public Libraries. The LISTEN Project is a part of the Bloomingdale Regional Library’s Life Story Writing course.

Susana Mueller oversees The LISTEN Project. Mueller said, “The LISTEN Project (LIfe STories ENrich) is the audio part of the project, which began with an anthology titled I Have a Story to Tell, published by the Bloomingdale Writers Connection at the Bloomingdale Regional Library, which administers the Life Story Writing Program.”

The Life Story Writing Program consists of 10 classes that are free to library patrons. The 10-week class is open to adults of all ages and writing skills.

Mueller added, “The audio project goal is to leave a history of the area, revealing the dynamic ethnicities and cultures presently found in East Hillsborough County and surrounding communities.”

Cheryl Wolfe, digital media and PR coordinator for the HCPLC, said, “We are excited to release The LISTEN Project. It is a collection of recorded true-life stories written and read by the residents of East Hillsborough County and the surrounding communities. There are 19 stories featuring over 70 subjects. The public can browse and listen to the stories to gain an understanding of the history of East Hillsborough County and surrounding communities, and the dynamic ethnicities and cultures presently found in this region.”

To view the collection, visit

For more information about the Life Story Writing Program, please contact Val Perry, coordinator, at For more information about the LISTEN recordings, contact Mueller at

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