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  • Writer's pictureSarah Howard

MO-TELL Member of the Month: Sarah Howard

Howdy, I spend most of my days as the Youth and Community Services Manager for the Daniel Boone Regional Library in Mid-Missouri. As the picture shows, we are trying to see how we can do things better during these challenging times and bring helpful resources and also joy to patrons of all ages. We are attempting that in

our Zoom Room.

I first heard Bobby Norfolk and Beth Horner in the late 80’s. They were the first people I met who had “Storyteller” as their profession. Both kind and encouraging. I attended an early 90’s National Storytelling Conference in Texas and standing on a street corner met Jim “Two Crows” Wallen and if memory serves me right, Steve Otto and Perrin Stifel and more. I traveled all that way to meet more Missouri connections. Started attending events put on by MO-Tell the next few years. Workshops at parks, weekends on the goldenrod showboat and more meeting Sue Hinkel and Priscilla Howe, Joyce Slater as tellers or organizers over the years. that weekend. I also attended a few Chicken Festivals over the years of fun and relaxation and story. I also began attending the National Storytelling Festival and hearing even more tellers. SO many wonderful tellers.

I have found I have a gift for putting on events or helping creative people keep up their creativity and while I do tell and sing with young children and families solo or along with my husband Thom Howard over the years, my real strength is producing events for the library.Over the years I have helped out in the now defunct group MOST (Mid-MO Organization of Storytelling) that has now folded into MO-TELL. I have served as a board member or helper at many events over the years for both organizations. Have worked a lot with Larry Brown in the past. Even got to help out RAPS and MO-TELL when the National Conference came to KC many many years ago (late 90’s) and when the National Storytelling Network moved to KC a few years ago. I look forward to supporting however I am able to in future years.

What tellers have been influential in my life? There are WAY too many to mention. With risk of leaving someone out. Let’s take it down to the level of the story. You never know when a story you have heard will come back and be what you need that day. I thank all the

tellers I have heard.

They have asked what a favorite story is....I can say some of my faves are hearing different versions of stories over the years and seeing how different cultures have similar themes and character roles. I am also a kid song nerd, loving to study the history of songs and tunes. I also love the backstage helping at any event and seeing how talented people

pull all the pieces together and make magic.

One day at work , I was helping a little boy around 4 and his mom find a dinosaur book. His mom said he could have one book. I was on the floor handing him choices. Mom was on the other side. He had one book in each hand. His body was vibrating with the joy of the books. Mom was attempting to hurry him along and make the choice. In a deep breath he blurted “Wait, I have to feel the essence of them.” Aahhh words and story and learning.

That is what makes our world go round. He got to take home two books.

May you all have good story in your life.

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