Here’s the issue. You’ve been invited to do a talk at a local public library. You know that the library will promote through their usual channels. But if you’re not a middle grade or YA star author, attendance can be all over the map, with nothing guaranteed. So what carrot can you have the library offer to motivate an audience to show up? The answer is credit. From teachers. For attending your event.
I’ve seen this in action at my local library. Our Friends of the Library group sponsored a program called, “Shakespeare in Song: Songs & Sonnets Celebrating the Bard” created and performed by William Clark. They knew adults would show up, but they wanted to attract a younger audience, too. To motivate students, the Friends of the Library sent a notice to all English teachers in local middle schools and high schools that announced the program and (here’s the key) suggested that teachers offer a homework pass to any student who showed up. The library created a form to certify attendance that was signed by a volunteer at the event, and the student was given a program as extra proof of having been there.
The result? A Standing-Room-Only crowd filled with students.
Why not suggest this kind of partnership the next time you do a library gig? It’s a winning situation for you, the library and, most importantly, the kids who come to meet you.