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Dial-a-story puts jokes, fun tales at fingertips

Morgantown Library unveils phone line story time program

by Olivia Murray

The Morgantown Public Library launched a new program last month that provides consumers with entertainment over the phone.

The library now has an always available phone number that people can call to listen to stories, jokes  and poems. Internet service is not require to dial in to the line — only phone service. 

The tales and rhymes are prerecorded by librarians at the Morgantown Public Library.

The November story selections are available through Nov. 30. At the end of each selection, callers will be automatically redirected to the main menu. If callers decide they don’t want to wait until the end of a selection, they can return to the main menu by pressing the pound (#) key on their phones.

November story selections :

  1. Dial 1: “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney
  2. Dial 2: “The Perfect Thanksgiving” by Eileen Spinelli
  3. Dial 3: “The Best Thanksgiving Ever!” by Teddy Slater
  4. Dial 4: “This is the Turkey” by Abby Levine
  5. Dial 5: “A Cranberry Thanksgiving” (with recipe) by Wende and Harry Devlin
  6. Dial 6: “Mouse’s First Fall” by Lauren Thompson
  7. Dial 7: “Around the Table that Granddad Built” by Melanie Heuiser Hill
  8. Dial 8: “Remember” a poem by Joy Harjo (in honor of Native American History Month)
  9. Dial 9: Joke line
  10. Dial 10: Selection from “Hamnet, A Novel of Plagues” by Maggie O’Farrell

Sarah Palfrey, library director, said that the program emerged from a search for a way to offer stories to listeners of all ages who might not be able or feel comfortable enough to come to the library in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic or who want to limit screen time.

“Story lines have been around for decades. Some things are classic for a reason,” Palfrey said.

Palfrey said  the overall goal of the program, and the intent of the library in many of its programs, is to foster a love of reading. Palfrey added  she hopes the story line program will also bring joy and entertainment to listeners through jokes and heartwarming stories.

According to Palfrey, the story line had 290 calls in its first week.

“The comments and feedback so far have been really encouraging,” Palfrey said.

The jokes and stories available on the story line will change each month. Stories will be added in different languages and chapters from longer books will be included starting in December. 

“It’s a really flexible platform and we look forward to experimenting a little to see what people enjoy,” Palfrey said.

To listen, call 304-826-BOOK (2665).

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