Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Input for Oral History Template

In order to maximize the usefulness of the Credit Union History oral history project's interviews, I'm currently working on developing an "interview template" which will help ensure that certain types of information are collected in all of the conversations. The idea is not to only ask the questions on the template, but, rather, to provide a "skeleton" that might serve as a jumping-off point for the discussion of a great deal of interesting material. I plan on continuing to develop and tweak it over the next month or two before beginning the first round of interviews, and so I figured that I'd post some initial ideas for commentary and suggestions. If you can think of any questions that you'd like to ask of elder credit union volunteers, feel free to leave them as comments on this post, or send me an email. A few of the questions that I've been considering are below; critiques and suggestions are extremely welcome!

  • When were you born and where did you grow up?
  • What did your parents/caregivers do? Where were they from?
  • What schools have you attended and what kinds of work have you done?
  • What was your earliest encounter with a credit union? Why did you join one initially? What was its common bond?
  • What was your early understanding of what a credit union was? How did you learn about it?
  • [For volunteers or staff members] How and why did you take on an active role in your credit union?
  • What role(s) have you played in your credit union? How have the responsibilities of those roles changed?
  • How have credit unions changed in the time you've been involved with them? Why do you think those changes have occurred? What do you think the effects have been?
  • What do you believe to be the essential characteristics of a credit union? What makes it different from a bank?

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