Why Virtual Author Talks?
Virtual author talks are not unprecedented for libraries. The 2014 National Teen Lock-in featured live-streaming teen authors. In 2013, Dan Brown, author of the Da Vinci Code, hosted a live streaming event which was his only public appearance to promote his novel Inferno. Mountain View Public Library was one of the few libraries across the state to participate. The audience was thrilled to hear him talk about his novels, his writing process, his family and other amusing anecdotes. New York Public Library recently hosted a sold out talk by Rick Riordan through Livestream. We have been inspired by these events and others to create a program, funded by the Pacific Library Partnership Innovation and Technology Opportunity Grant Program, that uses video conferencing technology to bring authors into as many libraries as possible.
Giving readers access to the authors they love
Like many small to mid-size libraries in California, Mountain View Public Library has a limited budget for programming. Most small to mid-size California libraries are unable to afford or attract visits from many authors that aren't local. The Library Talks is an effort to change that, giving readers in the community the opportunity to see some of their favorite authors speak live via webcam.
Teaming up with libraries across California
The Library Talks is the first step in creating a framework for collaborating to bring in otherwise unattainable guest authors by sharing the logistical efforts, the cost, and the potential audience. This project makes use of technology to break down physical barriers between the library and authors. Authors can participate from the comfort of their homes and libraries can participate as long as they have a computer, a webcam, and reliable Internet connection. The Library Talks will help the library fulfill the role of as a free, local community resource for reading, information, and lifelong learning. We hope that this project will strengthen the ability of California libraries to work together to provide high quality library experiences to all of our patrons.
Helping authors reach their audience
We love authors! Travel and book tours are not always possible or convenient for authors. The Library Talks has the potential to reach over ten thousand readers throughout California. It provides a wonderful opportunity for authors to meet and engage with their fans, as well as to reach new readers, all from the comfort of their computer, in whatever location is best for them.