Guidelines for libraries, schools and early childhood education centres

Schools, libraries and early childhood education centres are keen to ensure that New Zealand children are still able to enjoy all that a good book has to offer during these unsettling times. Providing storytimes for children through online platforms is something that New Zealand authors and publishers and the cross-sector organisation, The Coalition for Books, are committed to supporting. We aim to make the process as easy as possible for publishers, authors, teachers, early childhood educators and librarians.

We have created a webpage – – that will be updated regularly. Here we will list the publishers who have given their permission for librarians and teachers to create online storytimes (in accordance with the guidelines below). We will also share links to New Zealand children’s authors own readings and content that can be linked to; this means you may not need to create your own readings. If you come across an author who is doing their own reading and which isn’t listed, please do let us know via and we will add it to the list. In this way, we can create a new online storytime community – a positive outcome from COVID-19!

There are copyright implications with this kind of initiative, and with the support of Copyright Licensing New Zealand we have created guidelines below which publishers, who are offering their books through this process, ask libraries, early childhood education centres and schools to follow.

These special arrangements are of course temporary and will only remain in force whilst New Zealand is at Level 4 of COVID-19. The initiative will be reviewed when we move to Level 3.

Guidelines for Online Storytimes

  1. Please use technology that does not allow a live-streaming or recording to be downloaded by the public. You can use Zoom, Facebook Live, Vimeo, and YouTube as well as others. It may be necessary to adjust the default settings to prevent users from downloading your broadcast.
  2. If you upload a video or host a live-stream, please ensure that you designate the content as ‘Unlisted’ not ‘Public’ when uploading. You can point users to your content via your own website or through your social media
  3. If you use an open-platform (one that isn’t only available to your customers) please log the following details of the stream or recording into this spreadsheet:
  • Your organization’s name
  • Book title
  • ISBN
  • Author/s and Illustrator/s
  • The link to the reading online
  1. If you make a recording, this should be removed from the platform when we return to Level 3, at which point the scheme will be reviewed.
  2. Please acknowledge the book’s title, author and illustrator and the publisher at the start of your reading.
  3. When you’re streaming or posting, please tag authors and publishers where practical so that they can connect with your audience too.

If you have any questions about how this guide applies to your particular circumstances, please contact Catriona Ferguson –









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