In the library spaces – funny and scary stories

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On the 17–18th of October the international practical conference “The Power of Story, Inspiring Voice: Engaging Educators in Digital Storytelling” was held at Panevėžys County Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bite Public Library. One of the conference sessions was devoted to traditional storytelling. The workshop was conducted by a professional storyteller Richard Martin, who participated in the event as an invited expert in a frame of Erasmus+ program accreditation project in the field of adult education, being implemented by Panevėžys County Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library together with twelve municipal libraries of Panevėžys region in 2021-2027.

In addition to creative workshop with the librarians of Panevėžys region, the storyteller Richard Martin gave two performances to library visitors. The guest met the participants of the library’s Language Café and the members of the English conversation club “Let’s Talk”. People participating in these activities discuss various topics during their meetings, improving their foreign spoken language skills in an informal, democratic environment. The storyteller Richard Martin was pleased to meet groups of adult learners, as the participants of his workshops are often librarians, pedagogues, educators, and schoolstudents.

While working as an English and German language teacher, Richard Martin has developed a methodology for successfully using narrative elements in language teaching.

During meetings with language learning enthusiasts, the guest talked about his work, revealing that one of his activities is the theater, where his performances take place. So, this time, the library space turned into a stage for the storyteller’s performances.

Members of the Language Café and “Let’s Talk” club could hear a wide variety of stories, from witty and funny to philosophical and even horror. Each story contains wisdom that affects the listeners differently, as we all have different experience and perception of the world. Storyteller Richard invited the participants not only to listen, but also to speak – each story was followed up by a question related to the moral or philosophical aspect touched on in the story. In this way, the audience not only heard the storytellers’s excellent English, but also performed practical tasks and were engaged into discussions to improve their speaking skills.

Library visitors were happy with the great opportunity to participate in such an unconventional event and to watch the performances of the storyteller Richard Martin, to feel the power and beauty of a real traditional story. The participants of the events mentioned that they were particularly impressed by the storyteller’s professionalism, persuasion, warm and friendly connection with the audience.

Virginija Švedienė Coordinator of Adult Education Activities