Get Your Author Out of the Library

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Author Visits, Children's Literature, Educators & Librarians | 0 comments

IMG_6862I recently visited the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) at their National Convention in Columbus Ohio, which is a far hipper town than you think. For one thing, they have this car driving around downtown! Look closely and you’ll see that, yes, those are Babie doll legs sticking up from the top.

At the AASL, I regaled the librarians with advice gleaned from 10 years of coming to schools as a visiting author. Would you like to hear some of the gems?

1) Convey enthusiasm. Talk about your author visit as if it is going to be a blast, with everybody from students to principal to teachers to custodian. The excitement spreads out from you.

2) Share information. From early on, tell your staff, your teachers, and your students who will be coming, why you chose her, and why she’s cool.

3) Get the books. Buy them, borrow them, steal them if you have to, but make sure each kid reads at least one book.

4) Make your students into hosts. Rather than telling them, “We’re going to do something amazing for you,” tell them, “Something amazing is happening at our school and we need your help.” Recruit them to make displays, greet the author, guide her to the library, write an article about her for the school newsletter–anything that turns them into active participants.

5) Tell your author where to park. Please. I can’t be the only author in the world who finds the layout of schools and their associated parking lots bewildering.

More tips to come later….

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