Stories create community

Anthony Martin, customer service librarian adult services for the Harbourfront library, loves telling stories.  - Rachel Stern
Anthony Martin, customer service librarian adult services for the Harbourfront library, loves telling stories.
— image credit: Rachel Stern

Storytime isn’t just for children.

Tales have a way of engaging and empowering people and creating a sense of community.

“It’s enjoyable to hear stories together. It harkens not only to childhood but the Victorian Era of enjoying the sounds of each other’s voices,” said Anthony Martin, customer service librarian at the Harbourfront library.

Martin said people can live vicariously through stories.

“Our lives are stories. It’s like Joseph Campbell’s idea we are living our stories … we can learn from the experiences of others,” he said.

The library is celebrating  Family Literacy Day with several activities on Sunday (Jan. 27) 1-3 p.m. Literacy events are being hosted at several branches.

The events showcase the different forms of literacy.

“Literacy isn’t just about books,” said Martin.

People are sharing their tales through many different mediums including casual conversations, blogs, books, Facebook, he said.

“Literacy is a huge part of making it through the world today, especially because of everything going online,” said Catherine Knutsson, a Nanaimo author leading a young adult writing workshop during the event. “Being able to tell our own stories in the words we choose is also an important skill.”

She said telling stories is empowering for people, adding libraries are important places in the community for people to gain those skills.

“Our libraries are important resources we need to use and we don’t want to lose them because here is a place you can go in the community to learn for free,” she said.

The library also hosts literacy events throughout the year such as author book launches, ESL workshops and storytelling and it has material people can check out and use at home.

Martin performs during the Thrilling Tales: Storytime for adults at the library on Tuesday (Jan. 29) 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The adult story event has been running for two years and storytelling is held monthly.

Martin said people tell him they heard his story while browsing the stacks and that it was an enjoyable experience. The narratives vary and are mysterious, dramatic or humorous.

The My Story, Your Story Family Literacy event at the Harbourfront library includes numerous family activities from 1-3 p.m.

Wellington Library is also hosting an event Saturday (Jan. 26) 1-3:30 p.m.

For more information please go to www.virl.ca.


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Community Events, March 2017

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