CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Reflections on SLG Scotland’s virtual event with Victoria Williamson

Category: Blog, Librarians During Lockdown

The School Library Group (Scotland) were delighted to host author Victoria Williamson for our first virtual networking event of 2021. We’d asked Victoria – author of The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle and The Boy With the Butterfly Mind – to tell us more about how author events can be run in and out of school during the current COVID restrictions. We hoped librarians would be encouraged to run their own virtual author events after getting an insight into how it can be done. 

It was a brilliant evening. SLG Scotland chair Shelagh Toonen welcomed Victoria and over forty school librarians to the event. Victoria then introduced us to her books before showing us just how dynamic and engaging virtual events can be. We had everything from video demonstrations of science experiments – including how to make elephant’s toothpaste – to photos of the weird and the wonderful, which Victoria uses as creative writing prompts. Author engagement is an incredibly important way to engage readers and make reading for pleasure as enjoyable as possible  Victoria showed how an author’s enthusiasm can translate to the virtual world and keep pupils just as excited about books and stories as an in-person visit would. 

We had lots of positive feedback from the event, with the majority of people saying they feel more confident about running virtual author events: 

  • Victoria’s event tonight was fantastic! Superb content … thanks to SLG Scotland for organising this event. 
  • It was wonderful to chat to colleagues in the break-out and realise they’re feeling the same as you. Also brilliant to hear Victoria speak – very inspiring! 
  • Thought it was great. Gave me lots to think about and interesting to hear Victoria … so organised and obviously her events are well thought out. 
  • It was so good to listen to an author and wonderful to be able to chat to fellow professionals.
  • It was great to see how much an author could contribute virtually. 
  • The event from Victoria was superb – really good at exploring how a virtual event would work 
  • Excellent session 
  • Brilliant and really engaging 
  • A fascinating session 

We got lots of great suggestions of topics for future events. Keep an eye on @slgscotland where we will be announcing our next event soon – and thanks to everyone who came along to this one! 


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