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Briggs Library to pilot national Storyboard Workshop initiative

Few people have a whole book in them, but everyone has life stories — moments of their lives — begging to be captured and shared. Storyboard, a national workshop initiative, will help individuals tap into their memories and creative imagination and discover how they can write and share their story one “pearl” at a time.

A launch workshop for the Storyboard Workshop Initiative, which is facilitated by Ohio University Southern Professor Dr. Charles Jarrett, will be 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Briggs Library in Ironton and is free and open to the public.

Jarrett has served as a research assistant at Battelle Institute in Columbus and taught courses in rural sociology at Ohio State University. His areas of concentration include rural sociology, social theory and research methodology. He teaches a variety of sociology courses at OUS and wrote the soon-to-be-published book titled “Passages to Faith” about the Gullah culture in South Carolina.

“It’s a program using the public libraries here and in Beaufort, S.C., in cooperation with Ohio University Southern,” Joe Jenkins, director of Briggs Library, said. “The goal is to create a workshop that allows local individuals to learn how to tell their stories and tell about who we are.”

The project aims to bring people together at public libraries for guided workshops in a standardized format designed to inspire individuals to tap into memory, write and share true moments of their lives in short form.

“A library is the perfect setting to approach this type of idea,” Jenkins said. “It allows people to give a type of oral history they can then expand on. This is definitely an interesting opportunity to take advantage of. We are excited to get it up and working. We have a great partnership with OUS and enjoy working with the university at every opportunity. I hope to see this program grow beyond just two libraries and hope it gets used as a model in libraries across the country.”

Using innovative and unorthodox methods developed by Jarrett’s publisher Susan Kammeraad-Campbell, workshop participants will see their memories, ideas and images conveyed onto a page.

Publication and broadcast are also features of workshop. The best of the three- to five-minute personal narratives will be read in authentic voice by the writer on public radio, podcasts and online as well as published in digital and physical anthologies. Those interested are invited to submit individual true stories to Joggling Board Press for possible publication, audio recording and broadcast.

The Briggs Library Storyboard Workshop is part of OUS’s Kennedy Lecture Series, established by Edwin L. and Ruth E. Kennedy.

“Susan Kammeraad-Campbell delivered a superior program in 2011 for Ohio University Southern titled ‘I’m An Appalachian: That’s Who I Am’,” Jarrett said. “Students and community members alike were inspired to investigate the deep psychological roots of their Appalachian identity and render them in writing. Storyboard has the potential to establish a baseline of knowledge yet to be explored by more conventional methods.”

Kammeraad-Campbell is an award-winning author and editor of 25 books of fiction and nonfiction who has spent her career helping others reach their creative potential. Her book “Doc: The Story of Dennis Littky” and His Fight for a Better School was made into an NBC movie of the week called “A Town Torn Apart.”

For more information contact Jenkins at 740-533-0363 or Lori Shafer at 740-532-1124.