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Do’s and Don’ts for Schools Hosting an Author
In this graphic-novel-style piece in School Library Journal, author George O’Connor shares some suggestions based on his numerous presentations in schools:
Have someone ready to greet the author at the door so there are no hold-ups or hassles.
Have technology set up and tested in advance. “There is no sight more terrifying to a visiting author than a rapidly filling auditorium and the techspert can’t find the right dongle.”
Choose the right space for the presentation – for example, not a big auditorium without shades if the author wants to show slides.
Teachers and other adults in the audience should model attentive behavior; students will take cues from them if they’re yawning or checking their smartphones.
Don’t let students mob the author after the presentation. “We’re a gentle breed, we authors,” says O’Connor. “We just gave our all in a presentation, and we don’t want to be the heavy who says no to a child’s request. Organize a signing with guidelines.
For a signing, make sure the author has a stable surface to write on and have students put sticky notes on their books showing how their names are spelled.
Have fun! Authors’ presentations can add a huge amount to the literacy program.
“How to Host a Successful Author Visit” by George O’Connor in School Library Journal, October 2015 (Vol. 61, #10, p. 28-29),
From the Marshall Memo #608