Story Tool Kit and StoryFaire

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.

DOWNLOAD CURRENT KIT DRAFT (August 15, 2018)

Upcoming Events

Join Us at One of the California StoryFaires
Register for Northern California – storycenter.org/storyfaire-norcal
Register for Southern California – storycenter.org/storyfaire-socal

StoryCenter presents two events to introduce our new StoryToolKit for Libraries, and provide you with some direct hands-on experience in 8 programming models for the use of story in engaging local communities.  The kit will be 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 are modeling 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!

Whether you are a library director, an adult and teen service librarian, or responsible for programming at your library, these events will be hands-on immersions into these and other tools to inspire your adaptation of our various approaches and methods to your specific programming interests.

The events will be held in two wonderful libraries, the contemporary and spacious West Hollywood Branch library at 625 N San Vicente Blvd, and at the wonderful and comfortable Rockridge Branch of the Oakland Public Library, 5366 College Ave. in Oakland.

The events are free, but will have a limited capacity.  We encourage you to register soon, and let your colleagues in the field know about the event.

StoryFaire Agenda
(Subject to Amendment)
The day will be organized in four sessions, with seven workshops/activities.  There will be two concurrent sessions where you can choose one of four workshops, three of the four workshops will repeat in the second session.  Any one person can take four of the seven workshops.
Morning Coffee Feel free to arrive 30 minutes early for morning coffee and refreshments.
Morning 10 am – 12:30
Session 1  – General Session
10:00 – 10:15 Introduction
We will provide a brief overview to the day, and the work of StoryCenter in story work process
10:15 – 11:00 am
Workshop 1
StorySeeds-Prompts and Process –
You will be invited to write to three prompts from a random collection of 32 to give you a running start on the day on possible stories to share.
BREAK
11:15 – 12:30
Session 2
Concurrent Sessions
Workshop 2
Story Circles
We will explore the use and management of shared story exchanges for the drafting and improvement of written stories
Workshop 3
Listening Station
An exercise for preparing interview questions for use in oral history projects, and a demonstration of StoryCenter’s Listening Station kit
Workshop 4
These Hands Workshop
Writing into a fill in the blank writing prompt with an image of your hands and an object you carry that has meaning.
Workshop 5
Snapshot Stories
Bring a photo with great meaning or mystery for you, and share the story that comes out of that story.
Lunch (Provided either Pizza or Mexican – gluten free and vegan options will be available)
1:15 – 2:45
Concurrent Sessions
Workshop 2
Story Circles
We will explore the use and management of shared story exchanges for the drafting and improvement of written stories
Workshop 3
Listening Station
An exercise for preparing interview questions for use in oral history projects, and a demonstration of StoryCenter’s Listening Station kit

 

Workshop 6
Stories Seen
A stroll around the library to capture images and share ways that the images could be used in one or more of your stories
Workshop 7
Shoebox Stories
Bring a shoebox of objects from your home, choose three and tell a story that links the three

 

BREAK
3:00 – 3:45
Session 4 – General Session
Workshop 8
StoryJam
In the large group, we will invite 5-7 folks to share a five minute impromtu version of a story.
3:45 – Event Closure
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