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It's All About Getting Books into the Hands of Readers!

Author visits are about immersing children in reading and literacy.  When a child is given an opportunity to meet an author or illustrator in person the experience is much more meaningful if the child has had an opportunity to read and savor as many books created by the author or illustrator as possible --  BEFORE meeting the author.  Here are some of our recommendations to make that happen.

When preparing for the author/illustrator visit try to allocate funds in the budget for purchasing at least THREE copies of as many of  the author/illustrator's books as possible.  Then to ensure that these three copies get the widest audience possible use the following procedure for the three copies.


Copy 1 of each book
This copy is to stay in the media center at all times -- and available for IN-LIBRARY reading.
  • Children were allowed (encouraged, invited, sent) to come throughout the day and sit in the author corner to read the books at anytime - either individually or in a quiet pairs.  
  • Volunteers could come to the library and use the copy to read aloud to a small group of children or an individual IN THE LIBRARY.
  • Library media specialist always had a copy of a book to read during literature appreciation sessions with classes.


Copy 2 of each book
This copy is to be available for USE IN THE CLASSROOM.
The reserve system will encourage teachers to plan ahead and to share the books and to plan classroom extension activities or discussions on a regular and planned basis.

TEACHERS / STAFF  are encouraged to check out the "reserved" copy for 1/2 day to use in their classroom for a specific activity or focus. 
The book could be reserved for a specific 1/2 day,  as many days ahead as necessary.  Put a blank schedule card in it and teachers signed to reserve and left the card when they actually took the book.   The "card" was printed on heavy paper, on both sides, and folded in half and stuck in the book as a bookmark. To download a master for this reservation card click here. [pdf]

Copy 3 of each book AND any other available copies of the author's books
These copies are put on student reserve and students are allowed to check out for three days (or over the weekend).  (Teachers/staff are not allowed to check these out as they are reserved for student checkout). 
This procedure allows for a maximum number of students to have access to the books, to hear the books read aloud in classes, and to read and share the books with other students or with an adult.

Classroom option --
In lieu of having the copy 2 remain in the library for teacher reserve some schools have funded (often through corporate sponsors who each buy a classroom "set") a set of books for each classroom.  These books are used for the duration of the time of prepartation BEFORE the author/illustrator's visit and then after the visit the books are "boxed" together and create a classroom set that circulates from the library, for small group/classroom reading in conjunction with guided reading sessions, community reading activities, and other literacy activities.

Book Sales

If your school/library is able to incorporate a book sale with the author/illustrator appearance please try to arrange the sale so that the students/children have those books to READ BEFORE the author/illustrator is scheduled to come to the school/library.  In that way the number of books is maximized and helps to insure that children will have read as many books as possible before the author/illustrator comes.  The books can always be brought to the library on the day the author/illustrator visit, for autographing.  For suggested procedures for autographing please see the "autographing" section in the MAKING THE MOST OF AN AUTHOR'S VISIT article.


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