International Art of Storytelling – Taiwan 2012
Since the Art of Storytelling (AOS) began in 2000, administrators and library staff have traveled more than 79,000 miles across the world covering five continents where eight different languages are spoken – all in an effort to share ideas and storytelling techniques with other library systems. In 2012, the Taipei Public Library in Taiwan was selected and the exchange was an interesting blend of cultures as the delegates from both countries discussed the ways storytelling is used to promote literacy and the library.
In March, the Miami delegation – librarians Rafael Costa, Sharon Carpenter and Elizabeth Pearson – traveled to the Taipei Public Library where they were warmly welcomed by Library Director Shih‑chang Horng and members of his staff. During their visit, they experienced Taipei through library tours, one‑on‑one discussions, presentations and site seeing. While there, the team conducted trainings about the Library System’s Reading Ready initiative, Capital Plan projects, Programming and the Five‑Star Customer Service philosophy. Sharon Carpenter even told stories to toddlers during a storytime!
In April, the week preceding Festival Day, the Taipei delegation, which consisted of Clare Tien, Jean Kao, Kelly Chang and TJ Chang, made their way to Miami to present workshops, learn about the Miami‑Dade system and experience the cultures, sites and tastes that make Miami so unique. The delegation performed at several Tales Under the Stars and on Festival Day.
While the experience for both pairs of delegates is an invaluable one, for the Library System as a whole, it is a very important because it allows for new ideas to emerge and has helped to bridge the gap between our local culture and the cultures found in our exchange partner.