Story Squad Goes to China

Brian Sturm, Director of Story Squad, spent 27 days this summer, touring eastern China and sharing the art of storytelling in public libraries with Chinese librarians and students.  He gave presentations and workshops in 7 different cities (Tianjin, Baoding, Shanghai, Fuzhou, Ningbo, Shenzhen, and Zhongshan) with the help of wonderful translators (university students and faculty colleagues).  He visited many children’s libraries (in China, they give children their own library buildings rather than a separate room or wing of a public library building) most of them younger than 20 years old and in beautiful, modern structures with whole floors for different collections.  Storytelling, despite a long history of marvelous Chinese folktales, is not a common practice in Chinese children’s libraries, so it was a delightful opportunity to try to generate excitement for this art form and share what Story Squad is doing.  “I hope,” said Brian, “that I might have the same impact on China that Marie Shedlock had on American public libraries in the early 1900s – to galvanize interest in public library storytelling.”


Shenzhen Children’s Library

  Fuzhou Children’s Library