Local librarians and book enthusiasts recently forged a collaboration to revive the art of oral storytelling during a yearlong campaign, “Save the Ugly Duckling: Keep the Art of Storytelling in Los Altos.”
“There is nothing quite like the experience of a gifted storyteller bringing stories alive through art and craft,” said Dee Ellmann, campaign committee member and Linden Tree Books’ event and program manager. “It can be magical, transformational and an important connection for people of all backgrounds and ages.”
During monthly programs hosted at the Los Altos main library and Linden Tree Books, caregivers, parents, teachers and young audiences will have opportunities not only to listen to stories, fables and fairy tales, but also to learn the craft behind oral storytelling from retired children’s librarian Enid Davis. The series culminates in the inaugural Los Altos Library Storytelling Festival, scheduled Nov. 15, 2014.
“Traditionally, storytelling programs have taken place in public and school libraries. Unfortunately, school-age children are no longer coming to these public library programs, and public school elementary librarians have all but disappeared in California,” Davis said. “Our committee members are dedicated to trying to revive this wonderful art form in our community.”
The program “Scary Stories for Adults” will launch the campaign 7:30 p.m. today at the Los Altos main library, 13 S. San Antonio Road. Linden Tree Books will continue the series with monthly programs for children 5 and older and their parents, slated 4 p.m. the second Sunday of every month during the year, beginning Nov. 10.
A partial schedule of events
• “Ogres, Oh, My! Scary Folktales”: 4 p.m. Nov. 17. Expose children to folktales about ogres, witches and giants. For children 5 and older.
• “How Fairy Tales Make Children Smarter”: 7 p.m. Dec. 4. Explore the world of Western folktales and learn how parents, caretakers and educators can enhance a child’s education.
• “Anansi the Spider Storytelling Festival,” 4 p.m. Jan. 11, 18 and 25. Listen to the adventures of Anansi, an African trickster, in this three-part series for children 4 and older.
• “How to Tell Stories,” 7 p.m. March 18. For adults: Librarians, teachers, caregivers, parents and nurses can learn how to tell stories without using books.
• “Storytelling by Participants,” 7 p.m. April 1. Librarians, teachers, caregivers, parents and nurses can practice their storytelling skills using the techniques taught at the March 18 program.