Storytellers to share their craft at the AASL National Conference

Contact: Kathy Agarwal

Communications Specialist

For Immediate Release

September 11, 2007

Storytellers to share their craft at the AASL National Conference

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is pleased to announce the storyteller lineup for its third Storytelling Festival, which will take place at the AASL 13th National Conference & Exhibition in Reno, Nev., this October. The AASL Storytelling Festival: Eye of the Story, will be held on Thursday, October 25, from 8 to 10 p.m. All interested conference registrants are invited to attend.

“Everyone's first language is oral, and we're born listeners,” said Sara Kelly Johns, AASL president. “As students learn to tell stories orally, they discover a sense of what makes a story work, providing a strong bridge to writing. They rediscover listening skills. And they begin to recognize themselves in the stories of others, growing a stronger community. So, begin this year's conference surrounded by stories. In fact, step into the ‘Eye of the Story’ Thursday evening at 8 p.m.”

As renowned storyteller Steven Henegar explains, “We all share our lives in stories, and we still share them orally as well as through books. They might begin, ‘you're not going to believe what happened to me at school today,’ or ‘you know, when I was your age,’ as well as with that old favorite ‘once upon a time.’ So everyday, storytelling connects us person to person, and can reach every kid at every level in every grade and remind them of the joy in playing with language.”

Join master storytellers Steven Henegar, Erica Lann-Clark and Olga Loya as they share their excitement in stories historical, traditional, personal and contemporary, finding laughter and insight, maybe truth, maybe lies. After the performances, they will settle in for a question and answer session to explore the many possibilities for reintroducing to your students the intimate, universal conversation called storytelling.

“Spending the evening with our storytellers is a great way to start the conference,” commented Allison G. Kaplan, co-chair of the national Conference Committee. “Most of us, no matter how old we are, love to be told a good story. It was at a storytelling festival that I got the nerve up to start telling stories to my students. So come and be inspired or come to be entertained, but don't miss this great event!”

More information about the Storytelling Festival and other special events at the AASL National Conference is available at the conference Web site,

The conference will feature three full-day and five half-day preconference workshops, several school and educational tours, more than 100 educational sessions, author events and more than 200 exhibiting companies. Online registration is now open.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.