The Art Of Storytelling: Metroparks At The Library

Join Us At A Branch Near You

Do you know what a podcast is? If not, you’re not alone (they’re digital on-demand radio programs, in a nutshell). Thanks to NPR journalist Sarah Koenig, though, it’s far more likely that you have heard of them. That’s because in the autumn of 2014, the world of digital entertainment was rocked by Serial – a little podcast that became a global obsession. How did Sarah Koenig and her team turn the obscure world of “podcasting” into a household name? They did it, largely, by being outstanding storytellers.

Stories are all around us. Stories are what we share on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds. Stories are what we tell our roommates, partners, and family when we come home after a long day of work. Stories are what we watch on TV, read in books, or listen to on our commutes. Stories are told around the world, in every language (or at times, with no language at all). As long as people have been interacting with each other, they’ve been telling stories. From painting pictographically on cave walls to recording audio that will be downloaded by millions of listeners, the art of storytelling has evolved in amazing ways.

Despite this, the cornerstones of a good story remain unchanged: relatable characters with interesting traits; a captivating plot that twists and turns; the power of words to coax joy, excitement, and sorrow from a listener. Some of the oldest tricks of the storytelling trade have withstood the test of time, as well: changing vocal inflection and tone, using different voices for different characters, and of course… the dramatic pause. All of these techniques can be employed to bring a story to life, and bring a listener to the edge of their seat.

Join Metroparks for a series of programs at Toledo Lucas County Public Library branches celebrating the art of storytelling. Metroparks interpreters will share stories of natural and human history. Feel free to come and listen, but we’d love for you to bring a story of your own! Your story could be a personal anecdote, a favorite fable, or a fictional story you created. You don’t have to memorize it – you can bring notes, or even just read a favorite poem or passage from a book. Each program in the series will have a theme to focus on.


All sessions are from 7 pm to 8 pm. Register for any of the following programs at or call 419-407- 9700.

Coming of Age: Stories from adulthood
Monday, January 25 at Main Branch downtown, for ages 18 and older

This session will give adult storytellers the chance to share stories with more mature themes – please, don’t bring the kids to this session.

Valentine’s Edition: Love stories
Tuesday, February 9, Birmingham Branch, ages 8 and older

Tell your story of silly, sweet, beautiful love. Naturalists will tell tales of love in the animal kingdom, and maybe even share our own love stories.

Folklore and Fables: Share your favorite tale
Monday, February 29, Holland Branch, all ages

For every culture, folklore plays an incredibly important role. From Anansi in Africa to the Brothers Grimm in Germany, stories are passed down through generations. Share your favorite fable with us! This session is especially for kids, but adults will love these fables, too!

A Metroparks Story: Experiences in nature
Wednesday, March 30, Sylvania Branch, ages 8 and older

We want to hear your best stories of adventures in parks! Whether it’s a memorable walk through Wildwood or a trip to Yosemite, share your love and appreciation of parklands.