Published: 07 April, 2020

A special arrangement for school storytimes during the COVID-19 outbreak has been announced by the APA, ASA and the National Copyright Unit.

We believe that all children should be able to enjoy books and stories from their earliest years – and to have this available to everyone, including those without books at home.

What does this mean for teachers?

If you’re a teacher, you’ll be able to continue to read stories to students, whether they’re learning from school or at home.

Schools are now encouraged to livestream storytimes so children won’t miss out on this important and much-loved activity.

Usually, teachers are able to read stories to students in class. Now that classrooms are moving online – things that relate to copyright become a bit more uncertain, so the APA, the ASA, and schools wish to clear up any doubts about how rules apply to remote learning.

So the APA and ASA have asked their publisher and author members to suspend permission requirements for the duration of the pandemic.

What’s the best and fairest way to do storytimes at your school?

  1. Livestream wherever possible – such as Google Classroom, a Zoom call, or Facebook live streaming.
  2. If streaming is not practical – you can make a recording as long as:
    • The recording is “view only” – so no other copies can be made or downloaded.
    • Wherever possible the recording is made available in a password protected access in a digital teaching environment
  3. Provide the book details at the beginning of any livestream or recording – so:
    • Title
    • Author
    • Illustrator
    • Publishers
  4. This policy is temporary – and remains while schools are providing remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency or the conclusion of term 2 (whichever is earlier). Once school resumes normal teaching practices – the Storytime arrangement will no longer be active.

Using these Storytime arrangements, we hope that teachers and educators will be empowered to use Australian made books and to support Australian creators, authors, publishers and booksellers.

If teachers need further information about this Storytime Agreement, or have copyright questions regarding COVID 19, please contact NCU:

Great! I want to do a Storytime – where can I find some ideas?

If you’d like ideas about how to do a Storytime – take a look at these resources:

Want to get involved in a conversation about reading at home? You can also follow and add to the #AustraliaReadsAtHome campaign.

For ASA enquiries, please contact Lucy Hayward, Marketing & Communications Manager:

For APA enquiries please contact Colin Ho, Public Relations & External Communications: