Webwatch – The Digital Story Library

Each month in Webwatch the IRISS learning technology team bring you the best of the web. We’ll highlight a website of particular value to social services practitioners, managers and educators. This month we focus on the Digital Story Library.

The Digital Story Library is a website published by the Joint Improvement Team (JIT) to highlight the impact health and social care services have on the quality of life of service users and carers.

The stories were created as part of a digital storytelling project: a methodology that harnesses new technology – combining voice, still images, and music – to create short but very powerful representations of an individual¹s experience. The stories are not designed to characterize routine practice but – by highlighting the rich and complex experience of a particular individual – to ³cause service providers and decision makers to reflect and to think creatively about how to improve care services, outcomes – and ultimately people’s lives.² (JIT, 2008). The digital storytelling project is linked to the JITs User Defined Service Evaluation Toolkit about which more can be discovered from the JITs main website,

The Digital Story Library website acts simply as a container for the eight digital stories currently available from the site. It includes a link back to the JITs main website. All of the stories are presented in Adobe Flash video format. Since most web browsers include the free Adobe flash plug-in this is a sensible choice . However, many social services agencies don’t include Flash in their standard desktop, and network services often prohibit the download of video content. As an alternative the website includes an email address where higher resolution DVD copies of the videos can be requested.

The collection of stories in the digital story library make compelling viewing and would act as excellent discussion starter for any group involved in service review and improvement. They also offer learners on health and social care courses a very moving insight into the world of people involved with health and social care services.

The Digital Story Library: