With Janice Del Negro as Bulletin editor (1996-2001) and CCB director (2001-2004), storytelling—an art often taught in youth services librarianship courses—became an important secondary focus of the CCB. Del Negro arrived at the University of Illinois in 1996, after serving as the Assistant Head of Systemwide Children’s Services at Chicago Public Library and as a consultant for the State Library of North Carolina. Del Negro was recognized as a professional storyteller and in 1998, her picture book Lucy Dove won the Anne Izard Storytelling Award. While at the Center, Del Negro published Storytelling Review (1999), which evaluated storytelling audiorecordings in much the same way the Bulletin reviewed children’s literature. Del Negro also organized a Valentine’s Day storytelling concert that featured different professional tellers. After Del Negro left Urbana-Champaign for a professorship at Dominican University in 2004, the Storytelling Festival was overseen by Betsy Hearne, drawing on students from her storytelling classes. Starting in 2007, new faculty member Kate McDowell—who first worked at the CCB in 1999 as a master’s student and reviewed for the Bulletin both as a children’s librarian in the field (1999-2002) and later as an Illinois faculty member (2007-2009)—took over and further developed aspects of the Festival, with storytellers sharing personal and culturally-significant stories as well as performing traditional tales.

Clips from Past CCB Storytelling Festivals