Stories and storytelling can have a strong impact.. Stories are powerful. They connect through universal themes, of love, death, good vs. evil, survival, and courage. They remind us of our humanity and our better natures. Hearing the stories of others can be an opportunity for breaking through prejudices and preconceptions. One example of this is the Human Library (https://humanlibrary.org/meet-our-human-books/). The human books share their stories with readers, who can ask questions if they choose to. Libraries need to embrace diversity and inclusion to empower community voices. Stories can also foster connection by bringing communities together for enjoyment such as the Seattle Public Library’s Thrilling Tales: Storytime for Grownups.
The DOK library in Delft’s mantra: “Keep stories, make stories, share stories”
The most important challenge we are facing in libraries now is ensuring we are open and welcoming for everyone. The world has changed so much in the last few years. We need to make sure our services meet the needs of those who might visit the library to feel safe. Those who need access to information and services that may help them get on solid ground in their lives. The underserved and the invisible should feel welcome and encouraged in our spaces, both physical, virtual and across the community itself.
And every voice should be heard. Every story told.
Things to Read:
- Stephens, M. (2019). Office Hours: With a Little Twist
- Stephens, M. (2020). Office Hours: The Power of Stories (Part 2)
- Stephens, M. (2019). “Telling Stories” in Wholehearted Librarianship, p. 91
- Stephens, M. (2020). Office Hours: Narrative Inquiry
- Ray, M. (2019). Courageous Conversations at the Human Library
- Wentz, E. (2013). The Human Library: Sharing the Community with Itself
- Eberhart, G. M. (2018). Sharing People’s Stories.
- Paxaman, M. (2019). Challenged but not dying, the public libraries are more relevant than ever.
- Mairn, C & Terrana, J. (2022). A library’s listening lab.
Things to View:
- Check Out Human Books at the Library
- An Introduction to StoryCorps from our Founder
- StoryCorps YouTube Channel
- Library on the Move
Things to Explore:
- StoryCorps Podcast
- Southern Methodist University Oral History and Digital Humanities Student Projects
- Storyhouse’s Twitter
- How Libraries Save Lives
Portions of module text originally written by Hyperlinked Library student Christine Barone. Module created by Elizabeth Olson.