What’s My Story?

I’m posting a more in-depth description of one of my programs each month.

Check them all out. Which one would you like to see most?

Storytelling
Storytelling

What’s My Story?

This was one of my first attempts to put together a program that was outside friendly as I started to get requests for those types of programs. In many ways it’s my most flexible program because the length can be easily adjusted. You can run it for 20 minutes, for an hour and a half, or just about any length in between. It also works really well for situations where you expect people to flow in, stay awhile, and then flow out again, since they are individual stories you can come in for one or two and then leave without feeling that you are missing something. It also works well for groups without a lot of knowledge of Laura Ingalls Wilder ahead of time and for younger groups. It can be done for groups of all adults, but that doesn’t work quite as well because as part of the program audience volunteers have to select an object off the table at the start of every story and adults have a much harder time doing this than kids.

Program Specifics

I tell interactive stories from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life and from historic tales. Also included are poems and riddles. While I appear in 19th century historic clothing for this program, it’s not a first person program meaning I don’t pretend I’m Laura.

Table with Storytelling Objects
Storytelling Objects

A long table is placed at the front of the space. On this table will be placed an assembly of objects (stuffed animals, a plastic fly, a slate, a china doll, etc.). Each object represents a story, a poem, or a riddle. Audience members volunteer to come up and pick an object and then I tell that story, poem, or riddle. It’s completely up to the audience what comes next. Sometimes an object will have more than one story attached so it can change program to program. Some objects require their volunteer to stay up front and help with the story.

Alternatives for Presentation

There are two major variations of this program available. The usual version has a general mix of subjects. The alternative version focuses on animal stories. That one includes me bringing Pa’s Big Green Animal Book aka The Polar and Tropical Worlds: A Popular and Scientific Description. Read more.

Requirements

Hosts will have to provide a big table or 2 regular size tables at the front of the space and a small table off to the side or the back of the space. I need to be able to move around the table and the space should be set up so it’s possible for audience members to get up to the front and back to their seats as easily as possible.

Note that the one disadvantage of this program is that unlike in normal storytelling I can’t control the “set” which means that similar stories might be told right after each other and that it doesn’t build to one big finale story at the end. It ebbs and flows with the audience choices.

Sound interesting?

If this sounds interesting to you, ask a local museum or library to have me come and present What’s My Story?

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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Genealogy Programs

My great-grandparents and me
My great-grandparents and me

I’m going to start doing a more in-depth description of one of my programs each month. Check them all out. Which one would you like to see most?

Genealogy Basics (PowerPoint Presentation)

There are lots of genealogy presentations, workshops, and general how-to information out there. What makes my presentation different is that it covers genealogy basics from a librarian’s viewpoint. Librarians help people with research all the time and so I bring that viewpoint to the subject. I offer suggestions about how to get started. We have a short hands on activity to form your first research questions to work on and then dive into ideas about how to stay organized with your research. Sometimes when you drop into a new hobby or project you get lost in all the things you don’t know. If you don’t know the terms, the processes, the organizations and the businesses, it’s easy to get lost. I’ll go over the basics of those.  Then I’ll go over some dos and do nots based on things other people wish they had done differently. I’ll talk about not only how you begin gathering information, documents, artifacts, photos and other family treasures, but what you do with it once you collect it. I’ll cover some basic suggestions on how to store things, how long some things last, and warning signs to look out for.

I’ve done this program many times and it always gets a very positive response even from people who have been involved with genealogy for a long time because they get a fresh prospective. In one sitting it takes an hour and a half, so I’ve decided it may work well for people to offer it in two 1 hour sessions with some additional information. I haven’t done it that way yet, but I think it might work better.

Alternative Version – Genealogy for the Non-Genealogist Librarian

I’ve done a second program that explains genealogy and genealogists to librarians. It’s proved to be a popular program with sessions at a national and statewide conference and a regional workshop in the last couple of years. I’d be glad to do that version as well.

Find the Handouts here:

Pathfinder BeginGenWeb2013

I’ve used the same information to create a LibGuide.

Beginning Genealogy LibGuide

NOTE: This program is not covered by Humanities Iowa so normal rates apply.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.