Books Create Australia responds to COVID-19 Pandemic

To find the latest health news on COVID-19 visit the Department of Health website.

Further information may be available from the State or Territory health departments: ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA

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:

Below, you will find ways that we are responding and helping Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Libraries

Here’s the libraries’ COVID-19 resource and response page. It includes:

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.

Authors

The ASA are updating the community as regularly as possible on their news page in regards to their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They’re looking at ways to support writers during this time, and are continuing to participate in roundtable discussions with the Australia Council and Office for the Arts. They are calling out for authors to fill in this survey on the impacts of COVID-19 on author incomes in order to provide essential data to the government.
While the ASA does not administer the Writers Benevolent Fund, they are proud of their longtime association with the Trustees and encourage authors affected by COVID-19 to apply for funding, where they are eligible.
The ASA are also looking to inspire authors and illustrators with ideas on how to adapt during this difficult time by listing positive initiatives from the arts sector in Australia and across the globe.

Booksellers

Here’s the ABA’s resources and response to COVID-19.

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.

Publishers

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.

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If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on this website or have some good news to share, fill out this form or please email hello@bookscreate.com.au.

For more specific information you can visit these websites:

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.

Book industry partners come to agreement on copyright

Books Create Australia, the collaboration between the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA), the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the Australian Publishers Association (APA) and the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) has announced a special arrangement for library storytimes during the COVID-19 outbreak.

For the duration of the pandemic, virtual storytimes will be sanctioned by an industry agreement. It is the policy of the Boards of the APA and ASA that their members suspend any requirements for copyright permission to be sought, in order to allow libraries to make recordings* or livestream storytimes so children aren’t denied this important and much-loved service.

To support libraries delivering storytimes online, ALIA, the APA and the ASA have made this joint statement:

‘The Australian Publishers Association, the Australian Library and Information Association and the Australian Society of Authors share a common goal for all children to be able to enjoy books and stories from the earliest years. Library-run storytimes make this opportunity available to many families, including those without books at home.

‘While the Copyright Act enables the performance of a picture book in some circumstances, the APA, the ALA, and ALIA are taking these steps to clarify any doubts. We value a safe environment, where libraries feel confident to adapt early literacy activities such as storytime for online delivery, via an open livestream or recording.

‘It is the policy of the Australian Publishers Association and the Australian Society of Authors that its members allow such use without any need for specific permission or payment’.

The agreement on virtual storytimes follows on from earlier agreements between ALIA, the APA and the ASA about the delivery of library run storytimes outside library buildings, the use of book covers to promote books and authors, and copying of the pull-out elements of books so as to replace the originals which have been lost by other borrowers.


*All libraries may deliver their Storytime sessions online, through a digital platform, such as Facebook Video, Youtube, Vimeo.

Storytime may either be live streamed or a library may make available a recording of Storytime online, provided that the recording is non-downloadable to the public. If practicable, the live steam or recordings will be made available only to library patrons who have signed in to access their library’s website.

This policy is temporary and will remain in force whilst COVID-19 remains as a WHO-declared pandemic.

Once this period has ended, libraries agree to destroy all recordings, and take down any online recordings. Libraries agree to provide bibliographic details of the featured book with any published recording of Storytime, including the title, author, illustrator and publisher.This image is putting the logos and names of the organisation at the top of the page to make it seem more authoritative and represent the interest groups