That depends. If you do not live near one of the centers where volunteer speakers are pulled from (these can be found here: https://www.nasa.gov/content/nasa-center-assignments-by-state
), there are a few things you can do to increase the success of your submission (this will also increase your success if you are near a center!)
- Indicate your ability to cover travel costs. Speakers are volunteers and responsible for their own travel. Please note that as civil servants, this travel cannot be paid out of federal grant funds (i.e. your programming stipend for NASA@ My Library). This travel would have to be paid out of library funds.
- Request a specific speaker. You can find the center your request will be assigned to in the link above. Take a look at the speakers list to find someone who is a good match for your program. This ensures the request will go straight to them, and they will be more likely to agree, or find you a good replacement. Do note in the comment box that you are flexible on the speaker, but that they represent a specific interest for your library.
- Apply early and be flexible on your dates! In addition to the flexible date boxes on the application, also indicate in the text boxes any additional potential dates, or even date ranges. The more flexible you can be on your time, the better. The flip side of this is that you should apply very early, so you can receive confirmation of a date in time to promote your program!
- Request a Skype presentation! Are you in Alaska and requesting a speaker in the dead of winter? Or maybe you just know you can’t afford travel for your speaker. Virtual presentations are a great way to still bring NASA to your library. You can still pick an individual speaker, but indicate in your text box that you would be able to host a virtual presentation. To do this well, you should have a large screen or projector, microphone capabilities, and a reliable internet connection.