NAVIGATION:          HOMEPAGE          WELCOME          CONCERT          QUOTES          CONCLUSION

Creating Ripples ... Making Waves

A Storytelling Concert About Transformation:
Choices, Compromises, Consequences, and Change


BIOGRAPHY
 


KAREN JONES SHIVER
Houston, TX
librarianshiver@hotmail.com


INTRODUCTORY INFORMATION

Born and raised in New Orleans, LA, I met my husband during the weeks before Mardi Gras when I was seventeen, and we’ve been together ever since. For the past sixteen years we’ve made Houston, TX our home. Our daughters, Heather and Crystal, are grown, and in recent years we’ve added son-in-law Johnny, and granddaughter Genevieve to the family. After having our lives rearranged by Hurricane Katrina, my parents now live here in Texas, and my five siblings are spread across four different states. Fortunately, some of them were already settled in other places before the storm. Currently I work as an Elementary School Librarian, and travel with my husband on his job during breaks and summer vacation.


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

M.S. Candidate in Library and Information Science
University of North Texas
School of Library and Information Sciences
Denton, Texas

Graduate coursework - Reading
University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX
Graduate School of Education

B.S., Elementary Education
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
College of Education


STORYTELLING INTERESTS

Someone once told me that others might be blessed with the “gift of gab” by kissing the Blarney Stone, but that I must have swallowed a piece as a child, because I could talk and tell a story at the drop of a hat. In a way I suppose this is true - no matter what happens or where I am, I find myself recounting bits and pieces of my life to other people I meet. I also collect stories that I hear in exchange, and pass them on when appropriate. This habit of exchanging tales with other folks in passing led one teacher to comment, “Karen, I don’t believe you’ve ever met a stranger”. I firmly believe that sharing stories can have that effect - even if the tale is borrowed or modified, storytellers still pass on a bit of themselves in the telling, and as a result connections are made with those who listen.

As an Elementary School Librarian, I have the chance to present stories to children ranging from Preschool to 4th Grade on a regular basis. I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to perform at church talent shows, and local branches of the Houston Public Library. But the best storytelling still occurs when my husband or other family members get together and tell tales about the past, or stories and jokes that we’ve heard. It’s especially interesting to hear how differently we talk about the same event - which gives some insight into why Storytelling events have been known by names such as “The Liars Contest”. No matter which of us tells the tale, someone else is sure to yell “It did NOT happen that way. Let me tell you what REALLY happened”.

I hope to gather additional stories in the future into a more formal repertoire, and expand my Storytelling experiences to other places and venues. I am currently planning a project to gather oral histories of the pioneers who originally settled in Alief, TX and use them to create performances to present to the children in Alief ISD Schools in Southwest Houston as part of their history and community studies. Stories are powerful - they touch our hearts as well as our heads, and linger in our memories long after dry facts have melted away. Often some of the most moving stories are lost in the passing of time. I’d like to use the art of Storytelling to preserve some of these tales, so that they can continue to impact the lives of those who encounter them.


MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

My husband and I have many varied interests, which sustain us and enrich our lives. I studied art, and worked as an Assistant Animator for two years. I’ve also done murals for homes and businesses, covering entire interior and exterior walls, in recent years with the help of my daughters. My husband worked for years as a Radio Announcer and Program Director, leading to our extensive record collection. I play guitar, piano and some organ, our daughters play French Horn, and percussion, my son-in-law plays trumpet and guitar, and my husband plays the guitar exceptionally well. He also produces original music by mailing audio files back and forth between musicians who add different tracks, which he then orchestrates into a final product. Our entire family reads avidly, and one of our favorite aspects of having grown children is that we can all share books with each other. We are currently enjoying passing this on to our granddaughter - she grabs a basket at home, dresses up, and announces, “Mommy, I’m going to the library to get a book”.


PERMISSIONS GRANTED FOR USE OF ALL MULTIMEDIA RECORDINGS.
ALL COPYRIGHT PROTECTED STORIES ARE TOLD WITH PERMISSION RECEIVED IN
WRITING FROM PUBLISHERS AND AUTHORS. PERMISSION DOCUMENTS ARE ON FILE IN THE
SCHOOL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS.

All images and photographs used with permission.

This Website Developed by Elizabeth Figa, Ph.D.
© Elizabeth Figa, 2007