The Center for Children's Books

Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Resources for Storytellers

Storytelling at GSLIS | Storytelling Bibliographies | Storytelling Resources | Folk and Fairy Tales | Storytelling Audio

Storytelling at GSLIS

Annual Storytelling Festival

The GSLIS Storytelling Festival is a highlight of the spring CCB calendar. This annual night of stories performed by GSLIS students, alumni, and faculty features folktales and original tales that have been carefully selected to create an unforgettable evening of celebration and community. Audience members come for the show and then stay afterwards for the cookies and conversation. For a taste of the festival, check out the audio archive of past Storytelling Festivals, or see video highlights from 2013 and 2014.

Storytelling Class

GSLIS offers a class, LIS 409, in Storytelling. Typically offered in spring semesters both on-campus and via LEEP, the class covers basics of adaptation, content and sources of materials, storytelling and storytime programming, and audio, visual, and digital formats. For more information, check out GSLIS course information.


Storytelling Bibliographies

Arranged by Date - Newest at the Top

* Annotated Bibliography

Arranged Alphabetically

* Annotated Bibliography

Storytelling Bibliography used in Betsy Hearne's Storytelling class (Word document)


Storytelling Resources

Why tell stories?

Teaching Storytelling: A Position Statement from the Committee on Storytelling. (National Council of Teachers of English)

Junior Great Books: "The Value of Folktales" is an article that discusses the values that folktales hold and gives explanations for how they enrich the quality of life. Click here to download the PDF of the article.

How-To Tell

Better Kid Care: Storytelling- brief guidelines for selecting and preparing stories to share with children, focusing on four major categories of telling (including well-suited examples) for traditional, rhythmic, main character, and felt board stories.

Discussion about Stories

Sources for the Analysis and Interpretation of Folk & Fairy Tales- This site provides extensive lists of sources that deal with the analysis of issues and concepts found in fairy and folk tales.

Reference Materials

Encyclopedia Mythica: Folklore- extensive online dictionary providing short definitions or descriptions of creatures and places of myth or folklore legend from all cultures. Everything from Abominable snowman to Zwarte madam.

Project Gutenberg- “ the Internet's oldest producer of free electronic books,” this site allows searching for texts and is a resource for finding and then downloading folk/fairy tales online.

Tales of the Punjab - the online text of the 1894 book edited by Flora Annie Steel, including 43 different folktales, as told by the people living in the Punjab .

Folk and Fairy Tales: A Guide to Print Resources -a LibGuide developed by library staff at UIUC, this is a useful place to start to look for books or encyclopedias at UIUC about folktales or fairy tales, particularly with an international focus.

Research Guide: FOLKLORE- reference list developed by the library at Brigham Young University . Includes select books, journals, and indexes pertaining to folklore.

Tell Me A Story- an annotated bibliography of stories, books, articles, etc… about and for storytelling.

Urban Legends Reference Pages- this is exactly what the title claims, an extensive resource for rumors and urban legends, including history of the rumor, and an analysis for some to help determine if they are true or not.

Storyteller.Net- a multipurpose site for storytellers including news and articles about storytelling, an archive of text and audio stories, and a database for finding tellers in your area.

Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute: Folktales- curriculum units for teachers about a wide variety of topics about folktales. Each unit includes an introduction, overview, lesson plans, plus many additional activities.

Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute: The Oral Tradition- developed in the same format as the folk tale curriculum units listed in the site above, these lesson plans, unit overviews, and activities cover a variety of topics about oral tradition.


Folk and Fairy Tales: Web Site Links- amazing comprehensive finding aid/directory full of links and hints for finding folk and fairy tale resources and online texts.

Mythology: MYTHING LINKS- designed for research, this site provides links and information for themes, mythologies, and traditions divided by geographical region. It is updated to include current events and news for myth followers.

Professor D.H. Ashliman- personal site of the retired professor, it provides lists of links to fairy/folk tale resources, with some being fun/educational sites. Several of the lists pertain specifically to Germanic folklore. This site also includes the professor’s publications and contact information.


Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies- information about this journal including the content of past and current issues.

Individual Storyteller’s Sites

StoryConnection- while providing information about storyteller Dianne de Las Casas, including her schedule, stories, press kit, and fan info, this site also includes information helpful for parents and teachers about making storytelling a part of children’s lives. Checking out the “storytelling links” part of her page is such a good idea as it provides links to the homepages of over 100 storytellers, plus similarly extensive lists of sources, organizations, awards, and educational resources.

Youth Storytelling- site for Kevin Cordi, including resources for ensemble storytelling and useful spotlights on various storytelling festivals and youth mentors across the country.

Kate McDowell- GSLIS Associate Professor Kate McDowell's personal storytelling website, including video clips, downloadable music tracks, and ideas for storytelling programs.


Library of Congress American Folklife Center- this research center was designed to record and document American life over the centuries. Their site includes archives, finding aids, educational resources, recordings, and publications of history and life in the United States , everything that makes up our folklore.

NCTE: National Council for Teachers of English- a quick search for “folk tales,” “myths,” or “fairy tales” in their site will result in lesson plans and creative ideas for encouraging students to become involved with the stories they are learning and encountering.

National and Regional Storytelling Groups

National Storytelling Network website- "Bringing together and nurturing individuals and organizations that use the power of storytelling in all its forms."

Northlands Storytelling Network website- The largest regional storytelling organization in the country, NSN serves tellers and storytelling enthusiasts in Minnesota , Iowa , Wisconsin , Illinois , and Michigan .

Illinois Storytelling, Inc.- The organization’s site provides a detailed directory of storytellers, festivals, workshops, and storytelling events in Illinois and the Midwest .

C-U Storytelling Guild website: Champaign-Urbana , Illinois storytelling guild. The guild is a group of local storytellers who meet together monthly to plan events and share ideas and stories. Their site is great for finding out about local storytelling events.

Read more about storytelling including the Ten Commandments of Storytelling, a Storytelling Ettiquette Statement and an article by storyteller and former Center for Children's Books director, Janice del Negro on our Storytelling Resources page.


Finding Folk and Fairy Tales

  1. Best Loved Folktales of the World
    Selected by Joanna Cole
    CCB Reference Collection - 398.2 B464

    A collection of over two hundred folktales divided by geographic region and indexed by category.

  2. Index to Fairy Tales, Myths, and Legends
    By Mary Huse Eastman
    CCB Reference Collection - 016.398 Ea79i1926

    Stories from collections are organized alphabetically by title and subject.

  3. Five Minute Tales: More Stories to Read and Tell When Time is Short
    By Margaret Read McDonald
    CCB Reference Collection - 398.2 M145f

    A collection of short stories to tell for the storyteller on the go.

  4. The Storyteller's Sourcebook: A Subject, Title, and Motif Index to Folklore Collections for Children
    By Margaret Read MacDonald and Brian W. Sturm
    CCB Reference Collection - 016.398 M115s

    Organizes folk and fairy tales from collections and individual titles according to subject, title, motifs, and ethnicity & geography.


Storytelling Audio

Audio files of the Center for Children's Books Storytelling Festivals.

Read sample reviews of recordings (audio and video) from the Storytelling Review.