In tight economic times, raising funds for an author visit can be a daunting task. It could take years of Book Fairs to save enough money to have a really popular and well-known author. This is where technology can really come to our rescue. The web offers a couple of options for cash-strapped librarians who want to connect kids with authors.
Skype an Author Network – If you’ve watched The Oprah Winfrey Show in the past year or so, you have seen Skype in action. Skype is free software that you can download to your computer and use to make free video calls to anyone else in the world who also has Skype. The Skype an Author Network is growing a list of authors who will do FREE (15-20 minutes) video chats with students. Longer in-depth visits are also available for a low cost fee. Read more about how the Network started in Joyce Valenza’s post about the site.
Teachingbooks.net – Librarians in MISD have another option for exposing students to the authors whose books they are reading. Teachingbooks.net is a subscription service that is available to all MISD teachers and students at school and at home. This fabulous resource offers original movies that allow students to see and hear award-winning writers and illustrators at work in their studios. Although these presentations aren’t interactive like a virtual visit would be, students can learn writing tips directly from their favorite author.
I’m sure there are other ways that librarians are using technology to promote literature and writing. Leave yours in the comments!