Sat | May 30, 2020

Storytelling in all public libraries today

Published:Wednesday | November 20, 2019 | 12:28 AMMichael Reckord/Gleaner Writer
Storytellers and friends pose for the camera at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Library after the signing of the MOU.
Storytellers and friends pose for the camera at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Library after the signing of the MOU.

Today is National Story-telling Day and thanks to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed last week, every parish library in Jamaica will be holding a storytelling hour. In addition to this, the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) will begin to facilitate the establishment of storytelling clubs in all public libraries.

The MOU was signed a week ago (November 13) by JLS Director General Maureen Thompson and Dr Amina Blackwood-Meeks, the founder-director of Ntukuma The Storytelling Foundation of Jamaica (NSFJ), at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Library.

IMPORTANCE OF STORYTELLING

Thompson told the audience, comprising NSFJ members and officials from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and the JLS, that the signing was symbolic of a “mutually beneficial” programme. It highlights, she said, “the importance of storytelling in communicating cultural traditions and values, and enriching lives and communities across our nation”.

Specific outcomes desired by both entities that are set out in the MOU include (a) the raising of the profile of the island’s oral tradition and heritage with specific reference to storytelling, especially among students and young people, (b) the positioning of storytelling as an important tool for personal growth and development, (c) increased library membership of students and young people, and (d) more persons participating in Ananse SoundSplash, the NSFJ’s annual week-long celebration of storytelling.