Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What Do Librarians Want?

Happy Children’s Book Week!

In honor of this week, I thought that I'd share what I've learned about what librarians who work with kids and young adults want from authors and publishers. Ready?

Due to limited budgets for bringing authors into libraries and schools, Skype sessions are becoming more popular. These cyber visits are becoming a great way for kids to meet an author (as long as the technology is available and behaves). Of course, not a lot of books get signed. . .

Book trailers seem to be useful. I didn’t have a book trailer for Dog Gone made, but librarians have told me that the trailer for Buck Fever has been a hit with kids and teachers. And, when I'm presenting in a library (or school), I’ve found that showing the book trailer is a good way to begin.

A middle school librarian once mentioned that she’d welcome any information that would let her know if the story content was appropriate for her readers. By appropriate, she meant stories without sex, violence, drugs, etc. But you probably knew that.

Some librarians welcome bookmarks, but not necessarily posters and other give-away stuff. On the other hand, book cover images are great for grabbing attention. Apparently the book cover paired with information about the story can be really helpful.

ARCs (advanced reader copies) are, of course, highly sought after. However, when ARCs are not available, sample chapters of a novel seem to be the next best thing. The idea here is that the text of the story often says more about it than reviews or book summaries.

Thoughts? Anything to add? Any surprises?

For more information about Children’s Book Week, visit:

I hope you enjoy it! : )


  1. Technology has certainly opened up a few more ways for readers to interact with writers. I do think a sample of the story is a good way of whetting readers' appetites for more.

  2. I think so, too, J.L. Whetting readers' appetites is never a bad idea, is it? : )

  3. So skype is the new wave of book tours huh? Technology is amazing!

  4. Great ideas! I heart the library (our local and school libraries area great!).

  5. Technology is amazing, Deana. I sometimes wonder what we're in for next.

    I agree, Kelly! I love the libraries around here, too.

    Happy Children's Book Week!

  6. Good information. I've heard that booktalk information is popular with YA librarians which can include some of the stuff you've already mentioned as well as links to reviews and maybe a short excerpt.

  7. Thanks, Alissa! Booktalk information makes perfect sense since YA librarians often have reading groups, too. I'm adding your comment to my notes. : )

  8. I have a Skype account and hope to put it to good use in the future.

    Interesting post.

    Have a great weekend.

  9. Thanks, Medeia! I bet you will put that Skype account to good use once your novel makes it's debut! Very exciting.

    Hope you have a great weekend, too.

  10. I'm running a reading and writing workshop for kids at our library. I hope the librarians will like it. I'll let you's in mid July.

  11. Sounds like fun, Anita. I bet the kids and the librarians will like it. I'll be interested to hear all about it. : )