New from ACRL – “Once Upon a Time in the University Library: Storytelling Skills for Librarians”

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “Once Upon a Time in the University Library: Storytelling Skills for Librarians», edited by Maria Barefoot, Sara Parme and Elin Woods. This fun and eminently readable guide offers innovative ideas for integrating storytelling into your teaching and communication, and can inspire you to invent new ways to use it in your work.

You could say that telling stories is being human. Storytelling has evolved alongside us to provide entertainment through literature, drama and visual arts. He helps shape society through parables, moral tales, and religion. Storytelling plays a role in business, law, medicine, and education in modern society.

Academic librarians can apply storytelling the same way teachers, artists, lawyers, and businesspeople have done for centuries, as education as part of teaching mastery of information and as communication in the areas of referral, awareness, management, evaluation, etc. “Once Upon a Time in the College Library” explores the applications of storytelling in college librarianship in three sections:

  • The Information Literacy Classroom
  • Batteries
  • Physical and virtual spaces of the library

An in-depth introduction addresses the historical and theoretical roots of storytelling, as well as the mechanisms and applications of social justice. Chapter authors demonstrate the use of storytelling to share diverse perspectives that connect with their users, and each chapter contains practical examples of how storytelling can be used in the library and cultural considerations for audiences . The first section focuses on storytelling as a teaching tool; the others include examples of how storytelling has been used as a method of communication in collection sharing and development, at service points and in online spaces.

“Once Upon a Time in the University Library” is available for purchase in to print and as Ebook through the ALA online store; in print via; and by phone order at (866) 746-7252 in the United States or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for college libraries and librarians. Representing nearly 9,000 people and libraries, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help those who work in academic and research libraries learn, innovate and lead within the university community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning, transforming scholarship, and building diverse and inclusive communities. Find the ACRL on the the Web, Facebook, Twitter, instagramand Youtube.

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