December 31, 2015

2015: A Look Back

I’m starting off 2016 with a look back at 2015:

In the beginning of the year, I vacationed in Thailand. I did pop into the National Library in Bangkok.

On the way back home, I found TWO libraries inside Taiwan's Taoyuan airport!

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 Sunnyvale Library Storytelling Festival, and the Los Altos Library Storytelling Festival.

Library Storytelling:
I was happy in 2015 to share more stories at the Campbell Library

In 2015, I made my first storytelling trip to Mendocino County! I shared my tales at libraries in Fort Bragg, Point Arena, Ukiah, and Willits. Another first-time storytelling road trip was one to Yolo County, where I did my thing at the libraries in Esparto & Winters. I ventured to beautiful San Luis Obispo County once again, for storytelling at the libraries in Arroyo Grande & SLO. Closer to my home in the San Francisco Bay Area, I also shared stories at libraries in Campbell, Castro Valley, Los Altos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, and Sunnyvale.

They were expecting me in San Luis Obispo...

...and in Willits!

In Menlo Park--one of my two home libraries--I hosted monthly storytelling events, especially for elementary-schoolers. It's wonderful to have these ongoing events, which have given me the opportunity to build on stories, and on audience knowledge, to really enrich the experience.

Children's Fairyland
I made several visits to Children's Fairyland, a long-time storytelling home of mine, with 2-day (and 2 performances each day) weekend visits, as well as special-event storytelling for their Sleepover and Fairy Winterland events. I love being a part of the fun!

At home on the Emerald City Stage at Children's Fairyland

Schools, Summer Camps & More:Preschools, Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, day camps, family campouts, book fairs, many different opportunities! This year, they brought me to cities including Alameda, Belmont, Burlingame, Foster City, Fremont, Moraga, Morgan Hill, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Sunnyvale.

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!

The school-age event in Livermore--over the years, just a summer event--expanded into the school year in 2015, with mushrooming attendance, to even my surprise. I tell stories, but there are many other rotating elements, including science experiments, reading, art, quiz shows, magic, games, and all kinds of STEAM-y surprises!

A round of "Pin the Han on the Donkey"

A little Halloween-time science & fun

Striking a Bigfoot pose behind a cola geyser

Summer Reading Program planning once again allowed me to bring fun and valuable events to the libraries, and my increasing role in adult programming in Menlo Park has brought decades of my various experiences together, as I plan, program, promote, and host a regular series of events, and many special events, including author appearances, informational presentations, cooking demonstration & instruction, art, poetry, and performance. A big highlight of the year in Menlo Park was getting to once again host an after-hours concert by the Montclair Women's Big Band, an amazingly-talented group!

The programming jobs also lets me bring in a variety of professional storytellers for both adult & youth programs; this year, that group included Tom & Sandy Farley (AKA Spontaneous Combustion) and Ruth Halpern.

So what’s ahead for 2016?More storytelling. More "storytiming!" More library programming! More special library storytelling visits! More Children's Fairyland! More festival storytelling! Visit my Upcoming Events listing regularly for dates of my upcoming storytelling visits to Menlo Park, Oakland, Sunnyvale, Danville, 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! Spread the word!

Happy New Year! Wishing you much health & happiness in 2016.

Storyteller John Weaver

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