Introducing The Pages of JCPL: Community Journals

Jimmy Neil Smith, the founder of the National Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, said, “We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.”

Your Library’s new community journals, called “The Pages of Johnson City Public Library,” are motivated by the same idea, that everyone has stories to tell and that those stories connect us to each other in powerful and unexpected ways.

We have created nine journals—seven for story-writing and two for drawing—that you can check out like you would a library book. You borrow a journal, read what your neighbors have written, and share a story or drawing of your own.

Your stories can be written or drawn in any style you want, and all writing and artistic levels are welcome. Entries can be anonymous or signed. The rest of the guidelines can be found on the opening page of each journal.

Each journal has a different theme, such as “Stories from Childhood,” “Pets I’ve Loved,” and “Poetry.” There’s even one called “An Ongoing Story by You,” which is exactly what it sounds like—an ongoing story advanced by each new person who borrows the journal.

The Pages of JCPL are located on the second floor near the Information Desk. You check out and return the journals just like you would any other library item. They can be borrowed for two weeks at a time.

You can’t place a hold on a journal through the catalog, but if you call (423) 434-4454 or visit the Information Desk we’ll be happy to do that for you.

Librarian Wendy Day sees The Pages of JCPL as a fun, unique way to connect community members with each other and with the Library. “We want to provide a way for people to express their creativity, exchange ideas, and share experiences,” Wendy explains. “At the Library we really value collaboration, imagination, and diverse perspectives. These journals are a way of expressing those values.”

These journals don’t just give you a chance to learn about yourself (although they do that too). They also provide you with the unique opportunity to identify with strangers’ stories and hear the different experiences and perspectives of your neighbors.

Wendy says, “We hope people find filling these pages therapeutic. But it’s also about more than the personal experience. We hope people feel inspired and connected as they encounter the diverse experiences of others in their community.”

Call (423) 434-4454 with questions about The Pages of JCPL and to put one on hold for checkout!

Books about Journaling

We think journaling is a great idea, even if you decide not to take part in The Pages of JCPL! Check out these books about the practice and benefits of getting your thoughts down on the page.

Journal Sparks: Fire Up Your Creativity with Spontaneous Art, Wild Writing, and Inventive Thinking by Emily K. Neuburger
Journaling Power: How to Create the Happy, Healthy Life You Want to Live by Mari L. McCarthy
The Mindful Way to a Good Night’s Sleep: Discover How to Use Dreamwork, Meditation, and Journaling to Sleep Deeply and Wake Up Well by Tzivia Gover
Journal Me Organized: The Complete Guide to Practical and Creative Planning by Rebecca Spooner
Art Journal Freedom: How to Journal Creatively with Color and Composition by Dina Wakley
How to Start Writing (And When to Stop): Advice for Writers by Wisława Szymborska

Click here to find other exciting, unique things happening for adults at your Library! Visit and follow Johnson City Public Library on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube for daily updates and virtual programs.

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