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Biography 0f the Performer

Djuina Lemmons Hammett

Houston, TX


INTRODUCTORY INFORMATION

I was born and raised in the Houston area.  I lived in Louisiana for a brief while, but missed my mother so much that I had to move back to Texas.  I married Harry Hammett in Ocho Rios, Jamaica in November, 2006, after a fairly brief courtship.  We don't have any children except for our Miniature Pinscher, Daisy, but we look forward to adopting a child in the next year or so.  I am a full time Library Paraprofessional in the Youth Services department at the George Memorial Library in Richmond, TX.  I am in the fortunate position to share stories (primarily through books and songs) with children, and they don't even mind my singing!


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

M.S. Candidate School of Library and Information Science
Candidate Graduate Academic Certificate in Youth Services in Libraries
Candidate Graduate Academic Certificate in Storytelling                                           
University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies
University of Houston -- Downtown
 


STORYTELLING INTERESTS

Looking back on my life, I realize that I have been telling stories since childhood.  Everyone likes to be heard when friends gather together, and I was no exception.  I was always telling stories that would make friends and family laugh.  I never gave much thought to the actual act of storytelling until I entered the SLIS Program at the University of North Texas in the Spring of 2007.  While I had been telling stories for years, I didn't begin to actively seek out stories until Spring 2005.  At that time, I began visiting area schools to tell children about the Texas Summer Reading Program.  As part of my presentation, I tell children stories that I found in books, and invite them out to the library to check out books that have similar stories. 

I find that my favorite stories to tell are the stories that will get the biggest possible reaction from people.  To that end, I usually seek out stories that make people laugh, stories that require audience participation, and "jump" stories.  I like to know that the stories made an impact, and I especially like the instant gratification (by way of audience reaction) to these types of stories.  I am working on collecting stories of different types, because I think it is important to be varied in my (storytelling) interests.  Right now, my focus is directed toward Cajun tales.  I like the music of the language, and I especially like the accent (mine needs work).  Since most of my family lives in Louisiana (I'm the first Texas-born), I will have plenty of tales to tell with a near-perfect accent.

I am not part of any professional storytelling organizations at this time, but I expect I will be in the near future.  I am hoping to start a regular storytelling night at the library where I work, with different themes and for varying age groups.  The idea is still in the proposal stage, but I plug away at the process.  For now I satisfy myself by telling stories to whomever, whenever I can.


MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

I LOVE to read!  I always have.  In keeping with my interest in "jump" stories, I love reading horror tales, but I also enjoy a good mystery.  Another reading interest of mine - working my way through the ALA list of 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books.  Over the last few years, I have rediscovered the amazing world of children's literature, and now Dean Koontz sits on my shelf next to Dr. Seuss.  My personal library grows and grows.

Since getting married outside of the country, my interest in traveling has been reawakened.  Every year, I travel to a place where I've never been.  I don't necessarily leave the country, as I believe that the U. S. has many beautiful places to visit before exploring outside the borders (and, it's cheaper).



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