A Story Makes a Good Container – Snippets from “The Magic of Words”

“Talking to you is like talking to thousands,” Heather Forest told the audience at this morning’s workshop “The Magic of Words” at SCLS.

The audience she was referring to was – of course – librarians. Librarians are the people with “positional power,” the “public intellectuals.” After the audience recovered from this high praise, we opened our minds and imaginations to Heather’s thoughtful presentation.

Libraries played a large role in Heather’s early life. She read comics, which her parents considered frivolous. So the family made a deal: if Heather checked out one book from the library every week, she would be allowed to continue with her comics. Heather marched down to her public library and made her way to the mythology section. She only veered from that section when a librarian steered her to the 398.2’s; Heather’s been there ever since.

Heather hates the word illiterate. “Every child comes into the world pre-literate.” She went on to point out how children read faces, read their parents’ tone of voice, read the clouds. They are living in a world of communication before they ever learn to read or write.

Today the audience learned how to discover the bones of a story, and just as importantly, how to memorize them. Through a series of exercises, we went into our own special memories where information stored in stories is easily retrieved. Once we saw the “movie” of a story in our minds, it was there for us to recall with relative ease.

Many librarians left the workshop wanting more. Heather mentioned she is interested in conducting more in-depth workshops for libraries by zone, as she did in the Huntington zone this past winter. If your zone is interested, please contact Heather Forest.

The Magic of Words

On September 14th, 2011, Youth Services will host the program “The Magic of Words: A Storytelling Skills Workshop” featuring Heather Forest, storyteller and children’s book author.

For over thirty five years, Heather has been teaching and performing nationally and abroad as well as in our communities. This resident of Huntington uses a minstrel-style method of storytelling to share stories from around the globe with audiences of all ages. Heather’s virtuosity paired with her ability to teach makes her workshops unforgettable. 

Heather – in addition to holding a Masters Degree in Storytelling and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change – is the recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence Award, the founder and director of Story Arts, Inc., and the webmistress of Story Arts Online.

The interactive storytelling workshop for staff of Suffolk libraraies will begin promptly on September 14th at 9:30am (coffee and tea at 9:00am) and end at 12:30pm. Registration for “The Magic of Words” is now open to all Suffolk Public Library staff. Take a peek at some of Heather’s books such as The Little Red Hen: An Old Fable, illustrated by another Huntington resident, Susan Graber.

Events

Upcoming events:

February 3 Children’s Librarians Meeting

February 15 SCLA/PLDA program: How to Fill Out a Training & Experience Exam. Brentwood Public Library. 10am.

February 15 Children’s Department Managers

February 21 Free Booklist Webinar: Books for Youth Alert: New Titles for 2012

February 29 Performers Showcase

March 23 YSS Spring Conference

April 28 Authors Unlimited

May 3 Long Island Library Conference

May 11 Assistive Technology and Resource Fair. SCLS Blue Room and Auditorium. 10am – 4pm.

May 14 Children’s Department Managers

May 15 PALS Public Services

August 11 Battle of the Books

September 25 Children’s Department Managers

October 19 CLASC/SCLS Fall Literature Conference: Timeless Tales, Emerging Visions. Featuring Katherine Paterson and John Rocco.

December 13 Children’s Department Managers

SCLS Resources

Librarians’ Alliance for Parents and Children (LAPC) Listserv – the electronic discussion group of the Librarians’ Alliance for Parents and Children, a coalition formed for librarians who conduct Parent-Toddler Workshops in Suffolk County (NY) public libraries.

New York State Performers & Programs Database – A new state-wide resource for librarians to use in finding performers and programs available for library events. 

SCLS Ellison & Accu/Cut Dies – A complete list of dies available from SCLS Youth Services. Instructions for requesting a die can be found here.

SCLS Program Resource File – Find a program or let other librarians know about your experiences with a performer.

SCLS Streaming Media Database – Videos of the 2010 SCLS Performers Showcase can be found on this site.

YouthNet – An electronic discussion group focused on issues in youth services for the public libraries of Suffolk County, New York.