Hosting an author event can be a costly proposition for a public library, but Dayton Metro Library Children’s Librarian Jen Buckner managed to host an out-of-town children’s author at no cost – thanks to some detective work by her preschoolers, and the generosity of the author himself.
Last fall, Buckner saw an ad in Publisher’s Weekly inviting readers to solve a mystery about a missing character in Jason Gallaher’s picture book, Whobert Whover, Owl Detective. If they found the missing character, they would be eligible to win a visit from the author.
So, Ms. Buckner read the book to her Preschool Storytime group, and the children became little detectives in order to find Debbie the Duck. In January, Buckner was notified that she won, and on May 15, author Jason Gallaher paid a lively visit to the Kettering-Moraine Branch, where Buckner has been Children’s Librarian for five years.
“It was exciting to meet Mr. Gallaher,” said Buckner. “The kids really enjoyed the book when I first read it, but it was especially fun to see the author read it himself. He was excellent! Very animated and entertaining.”
Nearly 50 people enjoyed the program, and the author provided and signed copies of his book for each child.
“He was a great storyteller and everyone had fun,” said Buckner. “Most importantly, I found out that he did this on his own dime! The contest wasn't sponsored by his publisher.” Gallaher resides in Austin, Texas.
Dayton Metro Library thanks Jason Gallaher for his generosity, Librarian Jen Buckner for her initiative, and the detectives age 3-5 who found Debbie the Duck!
More information about Dayton Metro Library storytimes and other programs can be found at DaytonMetroLibrary.org or by calling 937.463.2665.