Australia Reads and Australian Reading Hour

Australia Reads is a cross-industry project to promote and champion the power of reading, literacy and books.

The Australian Reading Hour has become the flagship event of Australia Reads!

The Australia Reads festival begins Tuesday 1 September 2020 and culminates with the main event, Australian Reading Hour on Thursday 17 September.

This week the Australia Reads Ambassadors were announced for this year’s campaign, with Beck Feiner, Anna Fienberg AM, Jacqueline Harvey, Peter Helliar, Will Kostakis and Dervla McTiernan joining forces to promote books and reading.

The current campaign is centered around the #AustraliaReadsAtHome hashtag to promote the many benefits of reading to those who are going into quarantine or self-isolation, or as a way to keep younger ones entertained if schools are closed.

Learn more about Australia Reads, find branding resources and more information on holding your own Australia Reads and Australian Reading Hour events on the website

Storytime agreement

The Book Industry Roundtable is comprised of the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA), the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the Australian Publishers Association (APA) and the Australian Society of Authors (ASA).

All parties of the Book Industry Roundtable believe a reading nation is a better nation and that every child in Australia should have a reading start. They have expressed their willingness to collaborate to help. As part of this collaboration, the Round table parties have agreed to remove uncertainty about the legality of storytimes held outside the library premises.

Reading a picture book to a group of children in a library is not a breach of copyright, but librarians have been uncertain whether library exceptions in copyright law extend to storytimes outside library walls.

To remove doubt, 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 ASA, and ALIA agree on the value of an environment in which libraries are free from doubt and feel confident to run  important early literacy activities such as storytimes both at the library and elsewhere, for example at local festivals or as part of a community playgroup activity.

“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.”

This agreement does not cover the recording of a book reading, which continues to need permission from the copyright owner.

The agreement on storytimes follows on from an earlier agreement between ALIA and the APA about the use of images of book covers by libraries to promote programs and collections.

This agreement was made in September 2019.

Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers

The Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers (PFABW) is a group that brings together the Australian book industry and government members to celebrate Australian books and stories with the nation’s leaders.

PFABW provides a forum for government members to meet and interact with the Australian book industry – including publishers, authors, librarians, booksellers and print companies.

The group was established in 2017 and celebrated its first anniversary on 18 September 2018.

The latest event was held on 12 February 2019, with keynote speaker, author Trent Dalton.

You can read the report here.

Code of conduct

A code of conduct was developed by the Australian Publishers Association, in association with authors. It sets out the minimum professional and ethical levels of conduct expected of APA members in their relationships with authors.

You can read the full Code here.

‘Jolly Postman’ agreement

The Australian Booksellers Association (ABA), Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), Australian Publishers Association (APA) and Australian Society of Authors (ASA) have endorsed an industry agreement, which enables libraries to photocopy the removable inserts of children’s activity picture books.

It’s dubbed the Jolly Postman agreement after the iconic 1986 book The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Parents will appreciate the difficulty of tracking down the tiny inserts at home and the problem is multiplied in a library setting.

This joint statement from the APA, ALIA and the ASA will remove doubt about whether libraries can continue lending the book after copying its removable parts, to avoid children being disappointed by missing pieces.

“The Australian Publishers Association (APA), the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) share a common goal for all children to be able to enjoy books and stories from the earliest years. Enjoyment of activity picture books relies on the inserts being available to every reader. To facilitate this, it is the policy of the APA and ASA that their members allow libraries to copy the inserts and replace them as needed during the borrowing life of the book, without the need for specific permission or additional payment to the copyright owner.’

This agreement follows on from an earlier agreement about the use of images of book covers by libraries to promote programs and collections.

It will include certain copyright agreements where storytimes are held outside the library and in bookshops, and also for the replacement of removable parts for children’s picture books.

The agreement was endorsed by all organisations in September 2019.


Certified Trade Mark for Australian books

The Australian Publishers Association is applying to IP Australia and the ACCC to consider a logo and associated Rules of Use for a Certified Trade Mark.

The purpose of the logo is to identify the author and illustrator of the title as Australian. The logo, if approved, will be made available to qualifying publishers to use on qualifying titles across print, ebook and audiobook.

The aim is to promote and celebrate to the public those works that are conceived by Australian creators.

Collaborative work will be done with booksellers, authors and librarians, to disseminate the meaning of this logo that will feature on the back of eligible titles.

All aspects of the administration will be managed by the Australian Publishers Association. Please contact the APA if you have any questions.

Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative

Over 90% of published works globally are inaccessible to the blind or vision impaired.

The Australian Inclusive Publishing Initiative (AIPI) was launched in 2016 to foster a collaborative, consultative and consensus-based approach to tackling accessibility problems in Australia. Its members include representatives from the Books Create joint initiative and also literary agents, editors, designers, indexers, copyright organisations, disability associations, government and accessible-format providers. It is considered a world-leading approach to finding solutions to the problem of making books more available to those with a print disability.

You can discover more about AIPI on its own dedicated website, which features access to two first of their kind guides – Inclusive Publishing in Australia and Making Content Accessible – and also a number of stories and interviews from people with a print disability or who have services that support their access to books.

The aim of the AIPI is to increase access to published material for people living with print disabilities in Australia. Every year, AIPI meets to progress projects and activities towards its main goals.

AIPI would be very pleased to hear from any parties who are interested in joining the initiative who have a shared vision. Please contact AIPI here. 

Australian Reading Hour

An annual campaign, encouraging people to discover and rediscover the joy of reading. 19 September 2019.

Australian Reading Hour is annual reminder to stop what you’re doing and enjoy reading a book. Research shows that reading is good for us in so many ways: from reducing stress and anxiety to increasing empathy and a sense of identity.

Originally conceived by ALIA, this event has become an industry-wide campaign. Each year we launch Australian Reading Hour at Parliament House. Events all across the country — in bookshops, libraries, and even train stations — celebrate books and reading and remind Australians to #TakeTheTime to enjoy what a book offers.

Australian Reading Hour is always open to hearing from people who would like to take part in the event. Learn more here.

The foundation of the campaign is the research that underpins reading. The committee is open to hearing from any researchers who are operating in this area. You can reach out here if so.


Book cover agreement

The agreement allow libraries to use book covers to promote books and authors without seeking copyright permission each time.

The Australian Publishers Association (APA) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) negotiated a landmark agreement to allow libraries to use book covers to promote books and authors without seeking copyright permission each time.

This made it easier for libraries to create displays, posters, websites and social media to promote events that were in effect, promoting the featured books. 

Michael Gordon-Smith, Chief Executive of APA, said: “It’s a simple commonsense approach. Publishers and authors have nothing to lose. They may even reach more readers or make more sales as a result. We’re delighted to be working with ALIA, and to show that we can make things easier without damaging the fundamental property rights of authors or the businesses of publishers. This is the first step in what we hope will be a longer project to improve mutual understanding.”

Sue McKerracher, Chief Executive Officer of ALIA, said: “Libraries, especially public and school libraries, need clarity. We can now use book covers to promote reading without wondering whether we need to seek permission from each individual publisher. It has been a long term problem for libraries and we are grateful to the publishers for their willingness to work together with us on resolving this and other issues to make copyright work for us all.”

The agreement was made as part of the industry’s regular meeting and confirmed in August 2016.