EGAZETTE EXCLUSIVE: Carol Webb
The SLA School Librarian of the Year shares her checklist for successful ‘Virtually Live’ events:
As I write this we are about to host Jeff Kinney (Diary of a wimpy kid) for his virtually live show at Forest Hill School. This is the ‘To do’ list for such a show:
• Spread the word - Publicity/Displays leading up to the event and on the day, including school website and library facebook page: Forest Hill School Library.
• Demonstrate to the publisher commitment and responsiveness to all queries, meeting their needs with energy and enthusiasm.
• Theatre booking – negotiate for space.
• Timetable issues – negotiate with teachers – solicit their input on audience selection so that they feel included… if they choose which kids go in, they buy into the event taking place and being a good thing.
• SLT awareness - negotiating for their support.
• Audience selection – with care for the needs of the event, to include fans of the book and the need to reward certain students with a ticket.
• Film crew site visit – liaising to get access to the space and ICT gateway, include school’s technical crew so that needs are discussed and understood by all, then organise ordering of equipment e.g. light gels
• School technical team – to construct staging, design lighting and enable ICT access for digital streaming.
• Library arrangements so that it can remain open where possible on the day. During the Jeff Kinney day it will accommodate a dance lesson that has been displaced from the theatre and the dance teachers will receive cake in order to smooth the way!
• Catering – teas and coffees for crew and guests on arrival, water throughout and yummy lunch with cake for author, publishers and film crew.
• Gift for the author to be presented by student.
• Other schools – invitations, ticket numbers – how far to prioritise one’s own students, create a balanced audience for the publisher and cultivate cross-school relations?
• Bookseller – arrange times, discount, idea of sale numbers and organise furniture and location.
• Building management – negotiate furniture movements on the day of what, where and when.
• Safeguarding protocols to be issued for all visitors.
• Receptionist to have copy of all details for everything.
• Acquire teacher support on the day to manage student excitement!
• INSET days Vs normal school days. Charlie Higson’s show took place on an INSET day meaning only the selected audience comes on site and we could do a fancy dress competition! Normal days mean controlling the doors so that only those invited go in and we managing traffic flow to keep noise outside the theatre to a minimum during the filming of the show.
• Advertise podcast and use in Reading Club.
The picture above shows Charlie Higson and suitably attired pupils at the previous event at Forest Hill School.