Across the Threshold
The Library's Place on the Hero's Journey
Keywords:storytelling, advocacy, history, folklore
It has long been known that stories can be powerful marketing tools for many organizations, including libraries. Existing research has looked at the stories that employees tell about libraries and the stories libraries tell to promote themselves. For this exploratory study a workshop was offered training participants to tell personal, historical, or traditional stories relating to libraries, culminating in a performance. An open mic time during the performance allowed audience members to share their stories as well. Storytellers included library users, a student training to be a librarian, and the library professor/researcher. The stories were coded using Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey as a framework. By examining these stories we can better understand where libraries and librarians fit on the hero’s journey. These stories help us understand how patrons view and use the library and invite us to imagine the mythic potential of the library as we advertise our services.
Campbell, J. (1968). The hero with a thousand faces. Princeton University Press.
Copyright (c) 2022 Sarah Nelson
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