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SCU MLIS Storytelling Festival flyer

My students and I are planning the first ever St. Catherine University MLIS Program Storytelling Festival! I’m teaching LIS 7180 Storytelling for Adults and Children for the first time ever – after having taken classes with both Dr. Virginia Walter and Dr. Betsy Hearne – and it’s been an amazing experience so far. My students are phenomenal tellers. I learned this on the first day of class when they shared stories about themselves as one of our ice breakers. Since then, they have developed and grown as both critics and tellers of stories. Please join us as we enjoy a night of storytelling ^^

This event is hosted by me, Dr. Sarah Park. It is free and open to the public. Parking is free on campus after 5pm. Refreshments will be served. Some stories may not be suitable for children; adults only please.

For more information, contact me (spark@stkate.edu) or our MLIS office managers (imdept@stkate.edu).

Check out the Facebook event page.

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I’m very pleased to announce Talk Story: Sharing Story, Sharing Culture, a literacy program put together by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) and the American Indian Library Association (AILA). The American Library Association and ALA President Dr. Camila Alire launched this Family Literacy Focus initiative to encourage families in ethnically diverse communities to read and learn together (press release).

Talk Story: Sharing stories, sharing culture is a literacy program that reaches out to Asian Pacific American (APA) and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) children and their families. The program celebrates and explores their stories through books, oral traditions, and art to provide an interactive, enriching experience. Children and their families can connect to rich cultural activities through Talk Story in their homes, libraries, and communities. We welcome all ethnicities to customize Talk Story as needed for your community family literacy needs.

Talk Story: Sharing stories, sharing culture: http://www.talkstorytogether.org/

Happy reading, happy learning 🙂

What I’m reading now: A Narrative Compass: Stories That Guide Women’s Lives, edited by Betsy Hearne and Roberta Seelinger Trites (U Illinois Press 2009)

From the introduction:

Each of us has a narrative compass, one or more stories that have guided our lifework. This project invited women scholars from a variety of disciplines to identify and examine the stories that have motivated them and shaped their research. Telling the “story of her story” leads each of the essayists in the book to insights about her own methods of textual analysis and to a deeper, often surprising, understanding of the connective power of imagination. A scholar of “Beauty and the Beast” can see parallels between the fairy tale and her own journeys of scholarly maturation; an Alcott scholar perceives how Little Womenhas led to many of the literary and academic decisions she has made; a scholar of Chinese literature discovers at a crucial juncture that her intellectual and physical survival depends on Jottings from the Transcendant’s Adobe at Mt. Youtai. This process of storytelling about the stories that have inspired and haunted us brings to the surface the structures, themes, and language that seeded our work. 

… When people understand the relationship between text and context, they often do so because of their internalized knowledge of storytelling. But when the academy teaches us to silence our voices as storytellers—as women scholars often report has happened to them—the disjuncture that results makes us unable to use narrative itself as an analytical tool. This collection of essays demonstrates how the stories we have appropriated shape our interpretive abilities. 

Read the rest of the introduction here. 

May we all find our own narrative compasses.

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