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For the tenth year, nearly rounding out a decade, I am preparing to teach a graduate seminar in Storytelling. This course requires many kinds of skills, from public speaking to understanding audiences and much more, but the first skill that every student must acquire is the ability to find stories to tell. Specifically, for their first stories, each student must acquire the ability to find folktales. You could head to the local public library and browse the 398.2 section, or you could start online With the task of finding folktales at hand, my students find that there are fewer excellent online resources for finding folktales than you might think. Those linked here offer good starting points because they have reasonable information documenting origins either as source notes or as annotations or because they situate tales in relation to each other. Aaron Shepherd's Folktales http://www.aaronshep.com/stories/folk.html D. L. Ashliman's Online Folktale Finder http://www.pi
So ALA sent out their email to invite members to come to ALA Annual in Chicago this year, and they selected five sessions to highlight. Ours is one of them! As the US struggles with an onslaught of book banning like we have not seen in my lifetime, our project, the Data Storytelling Toolkit for Librarians , aims to get ahead of what we expect to come next: local battles over the existence of public and community college libraries. In fact, this battle has already begun, with some community college libraries in my state losing up to 2/3rds of their former staffing levels since the Covid-19 pandemic. We are right on time. This concern about defending libraries launched my research on understanding data storytelling in librarianship, with a pilot project in 2019 funded by the Center for Social & Behavioral Science at the University of Illinois--an article on obstacles to library data storytelling is in press with Public Library Quarterly, likely to be published in summer 2023. With
Everybody is talking about "storytelling" lately... When you hear the word "storytelling" so much, it seems like anything and everything can be storytelling. But it's important to define it so you know what I'm talking about. As written previously, I define storytelling as a dynamic exchange between the tale, the teller, and the audience. Understanding what is not storytelling--according to the definition I am developing based on the tradition of storytelling in librarianship--may help to further illuminate what storytelling is. But perhaps I should start with a quick definition of what storytelling is. Stories are fascinating; lots of people are deeply interested in story structure, but I focus most on storytelling. To understand the "telling" part, I see benefits to focusing on the dynamic of storytelling as a three-part interchange. We learn about listening from this model in ways that other models miss by focusing solely on the story.