• 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

    Check out the three recorded workshops from this series below!



    November - December

    Illustrated Stories

    Thursdays, 5:00 - 6:00pm*

    Workshop recordings coming soon.

    Pick up supply-kits for these hands-on workshops at your local library or school library. Any questions? Feel free to text or email Carissa, your Youth Librarian (760.937.8181; cdevine@monocoe.org).

    Star-fold Zine - Blackout Poetry


    Sewn-binding Zine - DaDa/collage


    Accordion-fold Zine


    Lotus-fold Zine


    Mail Art/ Distance Art



    January - April

    Written Stories - Journal Box

    Sharing Sessions - Last Thursday of Month, 5:00 - 6:00pm


    Available for pick up at your local library & the MHS library.


    New Year? New you. Take advantage of the ESP Journal Box to start writing on the regular. Whether you want to reflect on your day, write poetry or make plans to help you achieve your goals, creative journaling is a healthy and effective way to release some of those pent up thoughts and feelings. Pick one up at your local library!


    The Journal Box is meant to be an independent experience, meaning it's for you to use on your own time. However, we will have Sharing Sessions once a month. These are totally optional, but it would be a great chance to connect and share some of your written pieces with your peers. Sharing Sessions will be facilitated by Carissa, your youth librarian.


    Sharing Session I

    February 25, 5 - 6pm


    Sharing Session II

    March 25, 5 - 6pm

    What's the most creative way you've made a journal page look good?



    Sharing Session III

    April 29, 5 - 6pm


    Register to receive Zoom details!


    May - June

    Digital Stories

    Thursdays, 3:30 - 5:30


    Dates are still TBD until I hear from more of you -- just wanna make sure we schedule at a time that works for you. However, if you'd like to "register" to show you want to attend, I'll follow up with an email to see what time works best for you.


    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.


  • Spoken Stories Series:

    Workshop Recordings

    All three recorded workshops in this series are available below. The workshops are interactive, 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 - Spoken Stories: Now & Then

    You'll be prompted to interact during this recorded workshop. You can find the links to the interactive platforms here:

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

    Verse Recall Jamboard

    Excerpt Recall Jamboard

    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). 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.

    Workshop II - Speak the Speech: Elocution, Diction & Projection

    Wanna learn how to use your voice so that you are heard? Check out this recorded workshop with Marcy Murray, a local resident and actress living in Mammoth Lakes, CA. Be ready to pause and interact when prompted to do so!

    Workshop III - The Power of Spoken Word

    Looking for an outlet to share your thoughts? Check out this workshop on Spoken Word, also known as Poetry Slams. Whether you're wanting to improve your rhythmic, vocal delivery or just wanna release your feelings, Spoken Word is a powerful way to share your story with others.

  • Illustrated Stories Series:

    Workshop Recordings

    Mono County Libraries' Makerspace Coordinator and local artist Lori Michelon walks us through a variety of handmade Zines. Pick up supply kits at your local library, find it's corresponding workshop and start illustrating your own stories!

    Star-fold Zine

    A brief introduction to the Illustrated Stories Series followed by the first Zine-making workshop.

    Sewn-binding Zine

    A 20min recorded workshop to walk you through a simple, sewn-binding zine while using some Dada-inspired collage techniques. The theme: juxtaposition!

  • 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!

    Snow Tha Product - Bilingue

    A stand-out example of enunciation, Snow Tha Product exemplifies the power of this delivery technique in both English and Spanish in this song.

    The 7 secrets of the greatest speakers in history | Richard Greene | TEDx

    Listen to Richard Greene discuss the techniques used by the greatest speakers in history.

    Emma Gonzalez - March for Our Lives Speech

    As mentioned in the Speak the Speech workshop, Emma Gonzalez has placed herself on the map of powerful, effective speakers. She is a fantastic example of voice from your generation.

    Compiled by Joy Harjo, 23rd Poet Laureate

    Joy Harjo is the first Indigenous Poet Laureate in the US and a member of the Muskogee (Creek) Nation. She reflects, "The poets are the truthtellers. They tell the truth that has roots in the spiritual realms and has roots in the very earth itself, in the original teachings. I always like thinking of a poem like a house, or like a pocket; it can hold time. It can hold many different kinds of time. It can hold the questions we can’t answer. It can hold the grief that we have no words for, and it can hold joy.” Click on the image above to explore the interactive map she helped create in order to celebrate and share native poetry from across the country.

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