• About

    Stories form the basis of many forms of human expression - the novels and memoirs you read, the music and spoken word you listen to, the online games you compete in, and the plays, movies & TV you watch. Even our social media profiles recognize our posts as our story! And you most certainly have more stories within you -- stories unique to your experiences that have formed your perspective, and your library has created a program to help you share them.


    The Evolution of Storytelling Project (ESP) will give you a safe space to develop a strong voice so that you can craft and share your own stories. It will give you a stage for storytelling in a variety of ways, the confidence to share your own stories and techniques of intentional listening to appreciate those of others. #OwnVoices #TellYourStory


    The ESP is an out-of-school program offered by the Mono County Libraries, funded through the Shared Vision Grant by the CA State Library. The project is designed to provide you with a platform to craft and practice the creative art of storytelling through a variety of mediums, which for generations has proven essential to both identity and social interaction. The experience will help you further develop your self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness and social skills. On the program’s finish, you will have your own completed projects and be invited to submit to a storytelling contest.


    The Scope

    The ESP Timeline

    The extra-curricular ESP makes it possible for you to explore the evolutionary development of human storytelling throughout the school year. Humans tell stories in a variety of mediums, or formats, which has evolved along with technology. Each medium is the focus of a two month period, during which time you'll have the chance to engage with diverse perspectives, represented by different community members with relevant backgrounds and expertise.


    For the concluding months of July and August, all participants are invited to submit a piece to a Summer Storytelling Contest. Submissions will be accepted in any medium and celebrated through a community event.

    The Delivery

    Virtual Workshops

    Given the present circumstances, the ESP workshops will take place virtually on Zoom, with the potential of in-person workshops in the future at specific library locations throughout Mono County. The virtual platform makes it possible to include a large variety of community members into the workshop series -- so be sure to tell your friends! These virtual workshops are set up to include an interactive introduction from a community member, followed by time for you to work on a project of your choosing with guidance and assistance. Zoom information for each of the workshops will be shared with registrants prior to each workshop.

  • Mediums

    What's a medium -- besides that ideal size between small and large? Media comes from the word medium; in fact, it simply means more than one medium, or pathway. In this sense, medium simply means a channel of communication, or the way in which an idea (or story!) is shared.


    Humans have been telling stories since we were dwelling in caves. We spoke in verse to memorize, relate, inspire -- even to conspire. We painted and drew to illustrate these same stories. We developed the capacity to write down these stories, only to eventually animate them through digital technologies. Humans have never stopped telling stories; rather, the medium in which they are told continues to evolve.

    Spoken Stories

    Explore the origins of storytelling through the history and art of oral narratives.

    Humans have been telling stories since they could talk. Whether the stories were as trivial as tribal gossip or as profound as an explanation for how the world was made, humans have told each other stories in order to make sense of how we got here and how we should live.

    Illustrated Stories

    Discover the ways in which images alone can tell a story.

    Hieroglyphs, petroglyphs and cave paintings are the oldest records that we have of human storytelling. And our love for images remains: many modern stories are told with a combination of words and images.

    Written Stories

    Learn about the power of the written word and how it forever changed human story-telling.

    Did you realize that humans have only been reading and writing on a large scale for the past 200 years? It was only with the introduction of the printing press in the 16th century that written stories became a medium used often by humans. From pamphlets to newspapers, magazines and books -- we've become hooked!

    Digital Stories

    Develop an appreciation for they way in which digital mediums enhance our story-telling capabilities.

    Digital storytelling is the biggest thing to happen to storytelling since we developed the written language. From digital photography to CGI graphics, technological developments in the past decades has forever transformed the way we tell and encounter stories.

  • Schedule

    Each medium of storytelling will be explored through a series of workshops that will be introduced by diverse members of Mono County's communities. In this way, you'll be exposed to a variety of perspectives concerning each medium, in addition to time to work on your own project and gain feedback from your peers.


    September - October:

    Spoken Stories

    Mondays, 3:30 - 5:30*

    September 7, 2020

    • Virtual Introduction to the ESP  by Carissa Devine, Mono County Libraries  Check out the interactive, virtual workshop recording below!

    September 21, 2020

    • Using the Power of Spoken Word by Sofia Flores, Mono County Behavioral Health  To be rescheduled soon -- stay tuned!

    October 5, 2020

    • Speak the Speech: Elocution, Diction and Projection by Marcy Murray, local resident and actress, MFA

    October 19, 2020


    October 26, 2020

    • Sharing Session for all participants who would like to share the piece(s) they've worked on throughout the workshop.  Pieces can be shared "live" on Zoom or through a recording. 



    *Times are subject to change.


    November - December

    Illustrated Stories

    Thursdays, 3:30 - 5:30



    January - April

    Written Stories

    Thursdays, 3:30 - 5:30



    May - June

    Digital Stories

    Thursdays, 3:30 - 5:30



    July - August

    Mono County Libraries' Summer Storytelling Contest

    To conclude the year's exploration of the evolution of storytelling, all participants are invited to submit a piece to the Summer Storytelling Contest, which will be celebrated at a community event.


  • Virtual Introductory Workshop

    Check out the introductory workshop below! It's an interactive workshop, so be sure to press pause and participate when prompted to do so. Any questions -- don't hesitate to email your youth librarian, Carissa (cdevine@monocolibraries.org).

    Workshop I: Virtual Introduction to the ESP

    Part I

    Share what you took away from Christian Garland's story-slam, My Grandfather's Shoes on Padlet.

    Workshop I: Virtual Introduction to the ESP

    Part II


    Workshop I: Virtual Introduction to the ESP

    Part III

    Spoken Stories Menu

    Use this menu-board for ideas on how you can get started creating your own Spoken Story (you can right-click and save the image -- sorry the PDF approach didn't work out!). You might write your piece first, but plan to deliver it out loud. Alternatively, if you're not into crafting your own story, consider investigating the way a folktale or legend has shifted over time -- from its oral origins to its written or digital version.

  • Explore More

    Check out some of the ways you can tap into the power of your voice. #OwnVoices #TellYourStory


    Brave New Voices

    Spoken word, or poetry slams, have made an impressive comeback in the past two decades. Check out some of the performances from the Brave New Voices collection, the largest youth spoken word collection in the world.


    Storycorps is an independent organization that aims to “preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.” They collect stories by interview, which are recorded and sometimes turned into short animations. Discover more of their stories on their website.


    The Moth is an organization that started 20 years ago, aiming to capture and celebrate the commonality of the human experience through the art of storytelling. Focusing on the personal narrative, the Moth has brought the StorySlam to the stage! Find more stories on their website!