To find the latest health news on COVID-19 visit the Department of Health website.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia’s book industry is acting rapidly.
A lot has wisely been put on hold for the interests of community health and safety. But as bookshops, publishers, libraries and authors – we’re still here to bring books that educate, inform, entertain and inspire Australians.
We want to make sure Australians of all ages are still learning, feeding their imaginations, finding meaning in stories, and still connecting with others – we believe reading and books play a key role in that.
Why are books essential to our wellbeing?
Books Create Australia is currently talking to the government, making sure they know that we love our books – and that we think books are still important and should be supported during this time.
We understand that the immediate priority is on health and security, but the arts is crucial to our wellbeing during the crisis and recovery afterwards. We need to books to help people young and old to keep learning. We need stories to nourish, to entertain and to inspire.
We need books to sustain us and keep us connected during this time.
Books can help with those needs. We know:
- Reading books helps combat loneliness and isolation and is effective in reducing stress
- Literacy is critical to a child’s future and reading aloud is one of the most beneficial things a parent can do for a child
- Access to resources affects learning outcomes
- Reading fosters empathy and social skills
Below, you will find ways that we are responding and helping Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- ALIA’s response to COVID-19
- Public library virtual storytimes
- Multi-lingual communication resources
- How libraries are responding to COVID-19
- Postponements, cancellations and closures – public libraries; national, state and territory libraries, special libraries, university libraries
- Information and resources
They are still providing their crucial services, and have many resources for people to access online and remotely.
As part of a special Books Create Australia agreement, we’ve broadened and removed barriers for accessing online library Storytimes.
If you’d like more ideas about what what you can do with your libraries online, this ABC Life article has plenty of tips and ideas from actual librarians.
They’ve got information and resources for:
Consumers have been urged to buy local – as our independent booksellers are quite vulnerable during this time.
If you want information about your local bookstore, opening hours, delivery options and other vital information – you can visit this database put together by the ABA and Books+Publishing.
Book supply chains are still running – to ensure our bookstores are stocked up and ready to ship out books to everyone.
The APA has set up a special COVID-19 information and news page – which will be updated regularly.
The Australian Publishers Association is working to help keep the book business running – providing important information to everyone involved in making books, ensuring that cash flow and distribution and supply chains continue.
Educational publishers have stepped up to help schools and other educational providers transition into online learning – you can read more about what they’re doing in terms of improving access, offering free content and other forms of support.
Publishers are also putting funding and resources into promoting reading and the book industry. Which brings us to the next point – Australia Reads.
Australia Reads initiative
As an industry, we’re supporting these activities with the #AustraliaReadsAtHome campaign – which is part of the bigger Australia Reads project. It’s here to champion the power of reading and literacy.
The #AustraliaReadsAtHome hashtag can be followed and used to promote the many benefits of reading to those who are going into quarantine or self-isolation. It’s also a great way to keep younger ones entertained if schools are closed.
The Australia Reads festival begins Tuesday 1 September 2020 and culminates with the main event, Australian Reading Hour on Thursday 17 September. Find out more about Australia Reads.
Stay up to date and join the Books Create Australia community
Want to get involved? Want to know more?
Bookmark the Books Create Australia page, follow us on social media, and subscribe to our newsletter if you would like to keep up-to-date with what the book industry is doing.
For more specific information you can visit these websites:
- Australian Libraries and Information Association
- Australian Publishers Association
- Australian Society for Authors
- Australian Bookseller Association
And as always, stay in if you can, stay safe, look after each other, and stay connected.
We’ll be doing our best to keep bringing you books – we’ll be sharing news about what the book community is doing during these challenging times.
Thanks for supporting us and being a part of it.