Hungry for Stories

Posted on June 6, 2010


At the beginning of my library career, I worked at a public library in a small town.  One of my outreach programs involved a visit with booktalks and a presentation to local high school classes in their school media center.  These visits were always fun and resulted in many new library cards being issued, my ultimate goal.

The part I hadn’t expected was the magic that happened whenever I began booktalking.  I’d start out with the students listening, while the teachers talked quietly in the back.  As I went on, the teachers would stop talking and start listening.  Other teachers would stop in for something and stay to listen.  By the time I neared the end of my booktalk, I looked to the rear of the audience to see teachers, the guidance counselor and even the principal, all hanging on my every word.

Was it because I’m some sort of hypnotic storyteller?  A genius?  Hardly.  But I do have a gift for accents, pacing, and a love of words and story.  So why were all these people stopping to listen?

For the same reason that whenever I would be changing radio stations, hear Paul Harvey’s voice, and stop to listen.  Or my husband checks out books on CD from our local library to listen to at work.  Or so many people listen to talk radio or download podcasts.

We are hungry for story and storytelling; we want meaning in our lives.  With the overload of information and the constantly changing technology, story is familiar.  Listening is easy and relaxing.  We feel a connection with the teller.

So in all the excitement of web 2.0 and ereaders and skype, let’s not forget the power and magic of storytelling —   nor the hunger we all feel for the magic of storytelling.

Posted in: Lesson Plans