Current and former elementary-school librarians with big social-media followings are exerting considerable sway over what kids read
Most kids don’t know who John Schumacher is. But their librarians do.
“He’s a rock star in the library world,” said Kim Sigle, a librarian at Lake Anne Elementary School in Reston, Va., who recently hosted Mr. Schumacher for a reading event for roughly 500 students. She “won” the former grade-school librarian in a lottery after taking a picture of herself with a life-size cardboard cutout of him and posting the shot on Twitter, competing with dozens of other librarians who did the same.
In the milk-and-cookies realm of picture books and middle-grade fiction, Mr. Schumacher is an influential voice, one of several current and former elementary-school librarians with big social-media followings and considerable sway over what kids read. Publishers can’t advertise in classrooms and marketers can’t reach kids who haven’t yet hit social media, but these experts enjoy a direct line to school gatekeepers. Publicists inundate them with so many free books that in some towns, kids are toting advance copies like New York publishing professionals. The book industry seeks their notice, eager for exposure as newspapers cut back on book reviews and book stores continue to confront financial pressures.
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Wall Street Journal