Connect Guys with Authors: Virtual Chats Make Writers Real and Relevant to Boys

By Johnson, Abby | American Libraries, November-December 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Connect Guys with Authors: Virtual Chats Make Writers Real and Relevant to Boys


Johnson, Abby, American Libraries


It was a sunny June afternoon, perfect for playing baseball, taking a dip in the local pool--or having a virtual chat with a favorite author over Skype about what you've been reading. That was the message the New Albany--Floyd County (Ind.) Public Library set out to impart this summer through our first "Guys Read" program series, which was designed to attract boys to the library and get them excited about books. We sought to make that virtual guy-to-author connection with the help of local high school teacher and Twitter legend Paul Hankins (@Pau1WHankins).

A voracious user of our library, Hankins quickly jumped at the chance to give something back. He turned out to be the perfect partner for this project: a passionate reader and, as a teacher and father of two, someone who's comfortable with kids.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

He suggested arranging Skype chats with some guy - friendly authors--an approach he has had success with in his high school classroom for many years. By reaching out, he has developed personal relationships with many authors through Twitter, by attending conferences, and via his classroom writing project rawinkonline.com.

Our first step was to approach authors who would appeal to our male readers, and this is where Hankins's expertise really helped. We decided on Phil Bildner (author of the Sluggers series about baseball and other sports books), and Scott Seegert and John Martin (cocreators of the Vordak the Incomprehensible books). Since Hankins had already established relationships with all three, they did the Skype chats for free.

Both kids and authors had a blast at these programs, and we were lucky to "host" authors who went the extra mile by recommending great books to our young patrons. Most of the youngsters had read our guests' books beforehand and were full of questions. Even those who hadn't read the books left excited by authors who encouraged them to write and to read what they like. The youngsters quickly grabbed copies of books the authors had recommended and books I featured on display.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Connect Guys with Authors: Virtual Chats Make Writers Real and Relevant to Boys
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?