Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Looking Back on Monday and Tuesday

Yesterday was all about getting up, out and off to present three storytelling programs. We were so good--we took our walk, ate breakfast and were out the door. We had a great time, too, traveling to Harrisville and Pennsboro, WV libraries. Before we go there, let me tell you about Monday.

The first day of my new program was at Middlebourne, WV (pronounced Middleburn). I was so happy to see that the new addition is almost complete. The library has been fundraising for some time and to see their dream coming true was so gratifying. Perhaps I should say their vision, because dreams don't get the job done, do they? It takes the vision, dedication and hours of work to make a dream a reality, and director Roseanne Eastham has certainly done all of the above.

This program  is one I call Buried Treasure, which I developed for the national libraries' theme for this summer's reading program, Dig Deep into Reading. It is all new stories for me, and I really like that because it expands my repertoire. It's work to find and figure out how I want to tell them, of course, but once I have them down, and they've been told a few times, they become old friends that I can tell with little preparation in the future. By the end of this summer, they'll have been told 15 or 16 times and be firmly in my mind.

I think my two favorites this year are Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, which I am telling here (in a shortened, G-rated version since we had some 4 and 5 year-olds in the audience), and Jack and the Robbers--although King Arthur's Cave and Momotaro are close seconds.

 Here we are doing Treasure Hunt, my take-off on the old action rhyme Going on a Lion Hunt. I was surprised to find that most of the children were unfamiliar with it! We had a great time, crossing a highway, a swamp, a forest, a river, and then climbing a mountain before we get scared away from our hunt by a bear.

You can see in this last photo how big the space is! This will be the new area for the adult collection--the children's library will be the small round "instant" library built in the 70's.

There were also changes at the two libraries I visited Tuesday. It's been a while since I visited them, and great things have happened since I was last there. Harrisville has a beautiful new building--they bought an old furniture store and completely gutted and renovated it. The space is as warm and welcoming as wood furnishing, nice lighting and pretty paint can make it. Gorgeous, and so well deserved after years in a small, cramped space. I wish I had pictures to show you, but my roadie--er, husband--got into conversation with another Vietnam vet and forgot his duties. Ah me. Those vets can really get talking when they get together, and that's fine by me. I just wish I could have been there to listen because I know the stories were flying around.

This time the audience was almost all very young children, ages 8 and down to about 3, and their caregivers. I prepared for this, as I always try to do for library programs, because it truly is the luck of the draw--the audiences are usually families of all ages so I have something for everyone.

 Treasure hunting again at Pennsboro. Got our trusty shovels and our maps in our hands!

Not that I use my hands when tell stories, no, not me. That blur--well, yeah, I was using my hands. Body language is an important aspect of storytelling; body language, eye contact, voice manipulation, and timing all play roles in making sure the audience "gets" the story and gets into the adventure with me.

We made it home by 4:30pm and by 5:00 I was on my way to the last performance of the day, this time Appalachian stories for a girl scout camp. Again no photos because my roadie wasn't with me, but it was a good time with lots of stories, laughter and fun.

One of the nicest things of the past two days was this surprise left on our porch Monday evening:

We'd heard a man on the local radio swap show asking to rent or borrow a honey extractor. We have a hand-cranked one so we called and offered to let him use it. Now, we didn't know him at all, but in my experience beekeepers are a good bunch of people and we knew we'd get it back in fine condition. And we did--along with this beautiful quart of honey. There are some mighty nice people in this world, and it was a pleasure to meet this couple.

Today I am resting up for tomorrow's presentation to a county 4-H group; Appalachian stories will once again be the theme. But now I'm off to catch up with a few of you on your blogs, get some wash done, and wait for the thunderstorms predicted for this afternoon.

Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Quinn said...

I wish I could be at one of your storytelling events - they sound like such a memorable good time!

Sue said...

I really enjoy community libraries...AND the people who tell stories there.


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