—by Kolleen Taylor

There are books and movies of all genres in our library, but the common ingredients of all are that these are all stories! One of the projects we have been planning this year will begin this week, as we move the Memory Makers’ Storytelling Guild meeting to the conference room at Timberland Village. The Guild has had a wide variety of people involved over the years, but we have been trying to reach further into the community to build this activity with new faces and new stories. We hope that by the Story! Festival in the fall, we will have a bevy of new storytelling fans from our own community.

Working closely with the staff at Timberland Village, this is open to all, just as it was when it was held in the library. We hope to build a good core group who will find that as the weather improves, other locations might also work into our venue. This is considered an outreach program of the Bertha Bartlett Public Library, one which we hope will enable some of our older residents to attend and recount their personal stories, and one which will help reconnect them also with various ages in our community.

I’m always reminded what wonderful teachers we have in the Roland-Story Schools, as I see the results from the state speech contests, knowing that there are some excellent practical skills being taught, that is highlighted in this annual competition. The preparation, planning and execution, helps build a strong speaker for the future, whether they are involved in extemporaneous speech, drama, poetry or any of the other categories. Those who are involved in this program would be wonderful assets to our Storytelling Guild or to the Story! Festival held in the fall.

The tournament of YA Books, the Sweet 16 of Teen literature, has had the first tiers drop. The books chosen for this were the top circulating books in Story City during 2013. Competing for top slots were: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, The Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, The City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare, The Roar by Emma Clayton, Chomp by Carl Hiaasen, Wild Life by Cynthia C. Defelice, The Fault in our Stars by John Green, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Legend by Marie Lu, The Agency: A spy in the house by Y.S. Lee, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman, and Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter.

After the first week of voting, brackets were reduced to: The Sea of Monsters vs. Dead End in Norvelt; The City of Lost Souls vs. Chomp, The Fault in Our Stars vs. Divergent, and The Agency: A Spy in the House vs. The Graveyard Book. When the votes were counted, we had a tie, so we have had another week of voting. The final four are now: Sea of Monsters vs. Chomp, and Divergent vs. The Graveyard Book.

There are only two weeks left to vote for the Story City winners to be announced, so if you were not aware of this exciting show-down at the library, you still have a chance to vote for your favorite books! Final winners will be announced on April 7.