Online Storytime is a way to bring storytelling to families with young children missing out on storytimes during COVID-19 lockdowns or living at a distance from their nearest library. They are a way to keep connected with library communities and to participate in these fun, educational activities in a time-flexible way. Introduced during the lockdowns in 2021, for some libraries and families, Online Storytime has become a regular programming fixture.
Check if your library already subscribes
Enter your state or the name of your library service to see if your library already subscribes.
List of subscribed libraries
How to register
To register, you simply fill out this agreement and return it to ALIA for our signature.
You pay for an annual subscription costing $150 + GST multiplied by the number of branches in your service. So if you have two locations, you pay $300 + GST, for 10 locations, you pay $1500 + GST.
When you receive the fully signed agreement – usually in less than 48 hours – you can start recording books from the list. We will send you an invoice to pass for payment for your subscription or if your state association is covering the cost, we will add your library service to that account.
Each recording can stay online for a maximum of 6 months, we ask that you make an acknowledgement of permissions and branding in your videos and your library service will be required to submit quarterly reports (see below) of your recordings in order that we can calculate payments to participating publishers. Head to the FAQs below for more information.
This selection of books is available to library subscribers. You can search by title, by publisher, by author, by illustrator, or by ISBN. You can still download the full list of books here (updated 11/11/22).
Recently added books:
Pink Ribbon Books
Author: Jenny Lynch
Illustrator: Jenny Lynch
Thank You, Rain!
Author: Sally Morgan
Illustrator: Johnny Warrakatja Malibirr
My Soul Treasure
Kate's Soul Treasure
Author: Kate Searle
Illustrator: Alison Mutton
Waiting for Later
Keep on Telling
Author: Tina Matthews
Illustrator: Tina Matthews
A Great Cake
Keep on Telling
Author: Tina Matthews
Illustrator: Tina Matthews
Author: Vicki Bennett
Illustrator: Tull Suwannakit
Dear Grandpa Large
Author: Jacinta Boyd
Illustrator: Jacinta Boyd
My Shadow is Purple
Author: Scott Stuart
Illustrator: Scott Stuart
Mr Price’s Pet Emporium
Author: Millie Lewis
Illustrator: Maria Bazykina
A Rabbit’s Tale
Morris Publishing Australia
Author: Sally de Gruchy
Illustrator: Katherine Buchanan
Do You Want To Meet Your Grandma?
Author: Solitce Middleby
Illustrator: Angaáefonu Bain-Vete
I’m a nipper now
Author: Sally Cordner
Illustrator: Lucy Simms
Bobtail’s Friend-From the Desert to the Sea
Author: Jacki Ferro
Illustrator: Aunty Rhonda Collard-Spratt
Keeping up with the Dachshunds
Author: Carla Fitzgerald
Illustrator: Rebel Challenger
Facing the Wave
Author: Rebecca Marshallsay
Illustrator: Vaughan Duck
Library subscribers have been able to apply for grants that will help to expand the reach of the program thanks to $100,000 of Australian Government funding.
The first round of grants distributed $80,000 to 37 different library services across seven states and territories receiving grants to support their Online Storytime programming, including paying local authors and illustrators to participate in sessions, book promotion and marketing, collaborating with local Indigenous groups to translate readings into their language, purchasing new equipment and creating Storytimes with Auslan interpretation.
Round 2 applications closed on 25 March 2022. Successful applicants will be announced on or before 11 April.
We are thrilled to receive an ALIA grant for this year’s online story times. We are planning to use the grant money to hire local performing artists as story time presenters to show our support for the Canberra arts community, who like many have been through a difficult couple of years. We hope the videos will raise the profile of the public library, local artists and local authors.
Download the image required at the start of your videos here or make your own using these logos.
Australia Reads logo Music, Lyrics and Rhyme Resources Guide
Online Storytime logo Guide for limiting your audience to Australia
Full Online Storytime booklist Online Storytime planning template
Keeping in touch
We publish occasional newsletters for participants and there is an elist for libraries and publishing partners.
Participating libraries are required to submit quarterly reports including the books recorded, the URLs, platform, number of books purchased, etc. Quarterly reporting dates:
Quarter 1: January – March, Quarter 2; April – June, Quarter 3: July – September and Quarter 4: November – December.
Why is it good for storytime users?
It enables libraries to include children and families who can’t come to storytime sessions at libraries, for example, where both parents are working and can’t get to the library, as well as those living in socially disadvantaged areas where transport options are limited but internet access and devices are not, and those in rural and remote areas.
What branding does a library need to add?
Storytimes will need to carry an opening slide featuring the Australia Reads logo (the joint industry campaign) and acknowledging that permission has been given for the video. A template is available to download from the ALIA website – click here to link to the PowerPoint. Publishers will also nominate URLs for books and/or authors to be listed by libraries alongside the videos.
Why a payment per library branch rather than per service?
The largest library service in Australia has more than 30 branches, the smallest only one. We have priced it per library branch to make it more affordable for all.
Why are recordings only put up for six months, not 12 months?
Publishers prefer this shorter timescale for the pilot program.
Can libraries make Auslan versions of storytime videos?
Yes, publishers have agreed that permissions cover a presenter signing the book in Auslan, with featured signs and words in English, alongside the visible text.
Does the subscription cover titles not on the book list?
No, only those that are listed. But libraries are welcomed to request books to be considered by the relevant publishers for adding to the list.
Does it cover music?
The agreement does not cover music or songs, unless those songs are already covered under public domain.
Can other types of libraries eg schools, subscribe?
This agreement only covers activities performed as an official program of an Australian public library service.
Where can I find more information?
Contact us at email@example.com.