Digital storytelling: communication for greater impact

MLA Course
Listing Archived: Friday, April 20, 2018

Primary contact information...
University of Minnesota Health Sciences Libraries
Diehl Hall
505 Essex Street SE
Minneapolis MN , 55455-0334
United States
Erinn Aspinall is the primary contact.
Phone: 612-301-9481
Region: Midwest

Description: Through effective marketing, libraries gain increased visibility and recognition for their work - resulting in additional support and greater latitude to develop innovative services. Digital storytelling helps libraries develop a cohesive story and brings library news to new audiences. This course introduces a “digital storytelling lifecycle model” that provides practical tips and tricks to leverage marketing efforts and make the most of limited resources. Participants will be introduced to the lifecycle model and see its application. Real stories will be used as examples to detail each stage of the lifecycle - ideate, create, share, preserve, reuse, evaluate - focusing on the outcomes at each step. Strategies presented during the course have been developed for easy transferal and immediate application; participants will be guided through an exercise to apply the lifecycle model for use in their own library.

Experience Level: Beginning
CE Contact Hours: 2.0
Professional Competencies: Leadership and Management
Subject: Management
Course Type: Face to Face

Educational Objective: Learning objectives include: 1. To learn and apply a structured method for leveraging resources to support library marketing. 2. To learn concrete examples of how to reuse a story for greatest impact. 3. To identify local resources within the library and its service community that can be used to expand a story’s lifecycle.


Introduction - 10 Minutes
Part I: The Lifecycle of a story - 40 Minutes
Break - 10 minutes
Part II: Examples - 20 minutes
Part III: Active Learning Exercise (Think - Pair - Share) - 20 minutes
Part IV: Questions & Wrap-up - 20 minutes

Need for This Course: A 2013 Library Journal article by Ned Potter discusses the difficulty of marketing libraries. Potter lists many challenges that libraries face when marketing their work, including lack of time, lack of funds, lack of other resources, and the fact that public perception of what libraries actually do is about 15 years behind the reality in a lot of cases. The Digital Storytelling course was first presented at the Library Technology Conference in March 2016 to provide concrete strategies that address the challenges libraries face when marketing their work. The session was well attended, with roughly 70 individuals in attendance. Positive feedback received during and after the presentation. The link to the presentation was clicked 189 times since the 2016 presentation, indicating broad and continued interest after the presentation. The conference organizer noted that the Digital Storytelling session was by far one of the most liked sessions of the conference. Below are excerpts from the feedback shared by session attendees: I thought your presentation yesterday was excellent. I liked the model you used, and especially appreciated that you provided multiple examples illustrating how it worked in practice. Digital Storytelling: Expanding the Life Cycle of a Story was very helpful. I plan on using their process with some upcoming projects at my library. I am on the social media team at my own library system, and this session provided valuable information on the process of coming up with stories, sharing them over social media, and evaluating what worked. The presenters designed a very nice handout outlining the storytelling cycle, and they included valuable resources to help create engaging content for a digital environment.

The instructional methods used include Lecture, Slides, Discussion, and Hands-on Exercises.

Participant Materials: Participants will be provided with a print copy of the CE course lecture and a worksheet for use during the planned active learning exercise. These materials will also be made available digitally.

Facility Requirements: The instructors are requesting a laptop with a projector for the course, or capabilities for connecting a personal laptop to a projector. Internet access is not required, but would be helpful as a backup option for accessing presentation materials.

Additional Evaluation: N/A