Monday January 20, 2014, Martin Luther King’s Birthday. FIRST VIRTUAL AUTHOR VISIT. Jean Marzollo read from her book, The Little Plant Doctor: The Story of George Washington Carver.
It worked. The children were engaged during the reading. When Jean mentioned that she was happy to read about George Washington Carver on Martin Luther King Day, there was a current that ran through the children - a silent gasp. They got the connection and nodded and smiled and understood.
In preparing for this event, I strived to keep my cynicism in check. What about a live author signing her books for the audience? What about being THERE to encourage question?
The audience participation and question asking period was dismal. I interjected some of my tried and true, like “What was your favorite book when you were a child?” (Mary Poppins). It took a while for anyone to come up with a question. This might have been due to the make-up of the group, being mostly children of immigrants and not raised to feel entitled.
Well, it worked for what it was… an alternative manner of presenting an author. But why were we not packed in the library? We had a nice bunch of listeners, but the dowel activity downstairs had people waiting in line. Why weren’t they clamoring to get in here? This mystifies me!
Yes, we will attempt more of these events in the future. The challenge is choosing the right date. Any Saturday might work, but not if the Museum is sparsely attended. The only date that we ever really have a crowd in the library is on President’s Day in February. We already have a live author booked for that day: Elliott Kaufman reading from his book, NUMBERS EVERYWHERE.