chapter  16
12 Pages

Are you sitting comfortably . . . ?

WithELIZABETH TILLEY

Why stories? Stories command our attention. I cast my mind back to 2005, a conference hall in Oslo and author Linn Ullmann, at an IFLA keynote taking a breath before launching into reading some of her latest work. For 45 minutes she held nearly 1,000 delegates totally absorbed by the power of her story, and the collective sigh and brief silence as she stopped, followed by the subsequent rapturous applause tells its own tale. Linn Ullmann sensed that the impact of a story would be absolutely perfect for this stage of an international library conference, and how right she was. It made my conference experience perfect, and nearly 10 years later her keynote is the only one that I recall in any detail. My immediate response to this memory has been to rush to Amazon to buy her latest offering.