Introducing the Story Tool Kit for Libraries
Every day someone walks into your library with a story to tell. They have experiences that deserve an audience – an idea that a part of their story could connect to others, could make a difference, could heal someone else.
While the library is a place to carry out a story in the form of a document or recording, it is also a gathering place for the exchange of life stories. Whether it be the formal process of an oral history interview, an informal sharing around a table, a do-it-yourself creative project about an event in the person’s life, or just a space for conversations between friends or strangers, libraries have made themselves the living room for their community.
This kit is meant to provide a series of practical and easy-to-use programming activities for branch librarians. The focus is on personal storytelling, the kinds of stories that can awaken insight and belonging.
Each activity is described in detail, with considerations about the skills and capacities, the audiences, and the time needed for implementation.
The kit is provided as part of a one-day professional development activity called the StoryFaire. This is an opportunity for the programming librarian and other staff to get a hands-on experience of each activity.
We hope you find this experience both practical and inspiring and we look forward to your feedback as you bring these new approaches to story-gathering to your community.
Seeking Hosts for 2019 StoryFaire
StoryCenter will reprise our StoryFaire events from 2018, and is seeking hosts in greater Northern and Southern California to host a gathering of 50-75 people. The event introduces programming librarians and interested staff to our StoryToolKit for Libraries, and provides participants with direct hands-on experience in 8 programming models for the use of story in engaging local communities. The kit is a useful set of handouts and companion web page that will assist you in programming small, medium and more ambitiously scaled events with your communities. We modeled our effort on the successful Veteran’s Connect program and activities like the innovative UMASS Memory Roadshow guidebook.
The event will include a number of activities from using our Listening Station oral history tool, doing StoryJam events of group live storytelling a la The Moth, a simple model of our digital storytelling workshops we call SnapShot Stories, our StorySeed prompt life writing exercises, and StoriesSeen, a creative way to approach visual storytelling through smartphone photography; among others!
As hosts we need a full day’s use of a venue with one large room to hold a capacity of 75, and at least 3 breakout rooms with capacity of 15-20. The venue need not be a host library or branch, but could be a city general use space, school/college or other partnering organization.