1. Why is the Storytelling Resource Place (SRP), an independent organization, the best way to preserve and share storytelling donations?
There is no additional room at the public library for as many donations as we have received. The library already is using up many shelves for the donations that could have been used for materials which would circulate for patrons The Library primarily exists to provide the community a wide variety of resources to check out and use off premises. The SRP will be housed in a central location in Jonesborough, close to but not in the library itself. The SRP will occupy a separate building whose only purpose is to house storytelling resources.
2. Why doesn’t the International Storytelling Center house all the donations?
The ISC primarily emphasizes the modern practice of storytelling with the National Storytelling Festival and the Storytelling Live program in the summer. The gift shop primarily offers CDs and books of guest storytellers who have or will perform in the Storyteller in Residence program. Furthermore, the ISC does not have a space large enough or with strong enough foundations to hold the thousands of books, CDs, and DVDs that have been already donated.
3. Why doesn’t the ETSU Library house the storytelling donations?
When asked, the ETSU Library Director said “Absolutely not” to housing the 4,000 items collected so far. They don’t have enough space for what they are already trying to make available to students. Also, the various groups of storytelling materials are located in at least a dozen different locations within the library. Public parking is also a problem on the ETSU campus. A central location in Jonesborough would have convenient parking and would draw people from downtown.
4. Why Jonesborough, TN?
Jonesborough originated the National Storytelling Festival, which began the renaissance of storytelling in this country. And the festival continues to grow in Jonesborough. Jonesborough is also the location of the oldest Storytelling Guild in existence which continues to mentor young storytellers and provides a live storytelling performance weekly about 50 weeks a year. Thousands of people visit Jonesborough every year because of its history and its connection to storytelling.
5. Why the urgency to do this NOW?
The people who joined the storytelling resurgence 40 years ago are growing older and we are losing many of them and their collections of stories, storytelling objects, tapes, etc. It is a sad fact that many of these collections end up in dumpsters since the younger members of the family do not understand or value storytelling the same way.
6. What would such a Storytelling Resource Place do benefit the community?
This Place will be a community attraction throughout the year, available five days a week year round, not just in one weekend in October and four months in the summer. The storytelling books, posters, costumes, dolls, etc. and memorabilia will be a great museum for the families that come to visit Jonesborough, the Storytelling Capitol of the World.