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Digital Storytelling in Practice

The concept of storytelling is older than human history itself. Before the invention of written language, wisdom, knowledge, and information were passed down orally, and often through what would today be considered stories. In one sense, storytelling has always utilized the latest available technology. Some have said that cave paintings and other ancient findings were sometimes used to tell stories. It may be hard to think about prehistoric drawings on a cave wall as a form of technology, but at the dawn of human civilization, they were just that.

The rapid technological advances of the early 21st century have opened up new doors for the age-old practice of storytelling. While traditional storytelling is still alive and well, the practice of digital storytelling, a broad concept that encompasses the idea of using digital technology and multimedia interaction to share stories, is emerging as a useful tool for librarians and educators. In this issue of Library Technology Reports, we’ll look at how digital storytelling has emerged from the timeless practice of traditional storytelling. We’ll explore how digital storytelling has been used in different contexts to aid educators and how librarians can effectively implement digital storytelling programs. We’ll also take a brief look at some of the technological tools that can be used to tell a digital story.

--Kelly Czarnecki

About the Author

Kelly Czarnecki is the Technology Education Librarian at ImaginOn for the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (PLCMC). She was named one of Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers in 2007 for her work with teens and technology. Kelly writes a monthly column called “The Gaming Life” for School Library Journal and contributes to other publications, including Young Adult Library Services and Multimedia & Internet @ Schools.

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