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How You Would Like Us to Go About Visiting Your Schools

I am doing school visits all this week — in person, in class with my handy flash drive and a powerpoint. I love doing that — getting the kids thinking, talking, arguing, asking questions. But every day some question comes up about digital visits — schools where Skype is not working yet; the question of how to balance the greater access digital contact can create between author and class and cost — the author’s time, book sales (to whom? how many? what format?) — while also keeping in mind utility — what use can the teacher make of having more of the author? She knows how to fit "school visit" into a lesson plan — especially in a week like this one: Lincoln’s Birthday right after MLK, Black History Month — easy to add some nice events that kids enjoy and which broadly fit the scope and sequence. But what about the rest of the year — where do digital author visits fit in?
     I’ve blogged about this before, but I realized today that I’ve never asked you — those of you who are school librarians — which very likely also means that you will know the books and authors, and will also have knowledge/access to computers — how do you see digital visits working in the schools? What would you like to have happen? What would facilitate such visits? What do you need from an author? A publisher? A teacher? to make you feel this is the kind of event you should seek out and create?
      Right now there are no rules of the road — we have no model, so your voices count, let us hear from you. Give us your visiion of the mix of physical visit, digital visit, digital contact (blackboard, Shelfari, email) that would support the curriculum, build circulation, help students, please teachers, and make sense for authors. We’d love to know.