Story Well Told: Using Storytelling Across Library Services and Advocacy


There is nothing that replaces the power of stories. Even with primary value placed on quantitative data in libraries (circulation and programming statistics determine most of our budget allocations), it is easy to find ways that those numbers aren’t telling us enough. They don’t distinguish at all between small program attendance due to disinterest, and programs that have deep cultural, emotional, or intellectual impact on attendees, albeit a smaller number of them. There is no devaluing of quantitative data here, but rather, an emphasis on rounding out the bare numbers with stories of advocacy and inclusion: why we offered the programs we did, why we changed midstream when, for example, we noticed that our materials weren’t inclusive, how patrons responded, and what can we do better next time.

  • April Spisak, Albany Public Library, Head of Youth Services

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