December 31, 2014

2014: A Look Back

I’m starting off 2015 with a look back at 2014:

Speaking Engagements:
It was a pleasure this year to speak at conferences of the Santa Clara County Reading Council & the American Library Association's Association of Library Service to Children.  At the Asilomar Reading Conference, I shared a few tips to help teachers refresh their reading presentation for their kids' benefit & their own sanity. At my ALSC Institute talk--held this year at Oakland's Children's Fairyland--I spoke with librarians about some ideas for incorporating the art & benefits of storytelling into their programming.  It was an honor to be included in both events!

I enjoyed being back in Pacific Grove for the 2014 Asilomar Reading Conference!

Festival Storytelling:
I love library Storytelling Festivals; they bring the art into peoples' communities, perhaps introducing them to storytelling for the very first time--and all for free!  This year, I shared tales at the Palo Alto Children's Library's Annual Storytelling Festival, and at the Sunnyvale Library's 25th Annual Storytelling Festival.

Sharing my stories & nonsense with everyone at the Sunnyvale Library

Library Storytelling:
I also visited the Sunnyvale Library and the Palo Alto Children's Library this year for individual storytelling appearances.  Other libraries I visited included the Campbell Library, the Los Osos Library, and the Menlo Park Library. In Menlo Park--one of my two home libraries--I hosted both weekly and monthly storytelling events at different times of the year.  It's wonderful to have ongoing programs like these, which have given me the opportunity to build on stories, and on audience knowledge, to really enrich the experience.

Storytelling in other public venues:
I got to bring my stories to some wonderful places this year! I made several visits to Children's Fairyland, a long-time storytelling home of mine, with regular weekend visits, as well as special-event storytelling for their Sleepover and Fairy Winterland events. I also returned to two of my favorite children's museums, the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center in Honolulu, and the Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose.
Aloha from the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center

On stage at Children's Fairyland

Schools, Summer Camps & More:
Preschools, Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, day camps, family campouts, book fairs, assemblies, a monthly "Storyteller-in-Residence" many different opportunities!  This year, they brought me to cities including Alameda, Atherton, Foster City, Fremont, Moraga, Morgan Hill, Menlo Park, Novato, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Mateo, San Ramon, Sunnyvale, and Walnut Creek.

Storytimes, programming & more at my library homes:
The Menlo Park Library and the Livermore Public Library have kept me busy this year with a multitude of duties. My regular storytimes have included Baby Storytime, Toddler Storytime, Preschool Storytime, School-age Storytime, Family Storytime, and Bilingual English/Spanish Storytime.  Hundreds of books shared!
Summer Reading Program planning once again allowed me to bring fun and valuable events to the libraries, and my new role in adult programming in Menlo Park has brought decades of my various experiences together, as I plan, promote, and host a regular series of events, including author appearances, informational presentations, cooking demonstration & instruction, poetry, and performance.  A big highlight of the year in Menlo Park was getting to host the Montclair Women's Big Band, an amazingly-talented group!  Over 300 people crowded the library to take in the after-hours holiday concert.
The programming job also lets me bring in a variety of professional storytellers for both adult & youth programs; this year, that group included Olga Loya, Eth-Noh-Tec, Ruth Halpern and Leona Hoegsberg.  I've already got more such events planned for 2015!

The Menlo Park Library.  I love being here.

So what’s ahead for 2015?
More storytimes!  More library programming!  More special library storytelling visits! More Children's Fairyland!  More festival storytelling!  More school Storyteller-in-Residence! Visit my Upcoming Events listing for dates of my upcoming storytelling visits in Campbell, Menlo Park, Oakland, Sunnyvale and beyond. What is beyond?  Stay with me and we will find out together! And if you know of a place you'd like to see me perform, please let the people in charge know about me!

Happy New Year!  Wishing you much health & happiness in 2015.

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