Online Storytimes Aotearoa during lockdown – GUIDELINES FOR LIBRARIES, SCHOOLS AND ECE’S


 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.

This is an excellent opportunity to promote New Zealand authors’ and illustrators’ books and we encourage librarians and teachers to use local stories in their Online Storytimes. Authors and illustrators may have already created readings and content that you can share with your customers and students and this can be another valuable source for providing storytimes and activities.

There are copyright considerations with this kind of initiative. The guidelines below have been developed by members of the Coalition for Books, who represent the local publishing ecosystem. These guidelines do not apply to storytimes for books that were published outside of Aotearoa. If libraries, early childhood education centres, and schools wish to create a storytime using an international book title, the permission of the publisher should be sought.

These special arrangements are of course temporary and will only remain in force until storytimes can resume in libraries and New Zealand education settings are able to open. Given that different parts of Aotearoa may be at different COVID alert levels, early childhood educators, teachers, and librarians are asked to ensure that they comply with these guidelines as they relate to their local geographic region.

Guidelines for Online Storytimes

  1. Please use technology that does not allow the video content you are creating 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. 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 and send to (NB: Public libraries please enter these details into this spreadsheet):
  • Your organisation’s name
  • Book title
  • ISBN
  • Author/s and Illustrator/s
  • The link to the reading online

This information will only be used to ensure that the content is taken down following the conclusion of the period the permission has been provided for.

  1. Please acknowledge the book’s title, author, illustrator, translator and the publisher at the start of your reading.
  2. When you’re streaming or posting, please tag authors, illustrators and publishers where practical so that they can connect with your audience too.
  3. Please ensure you set videos as ‘made for kids’ as this will meet YouTube requirements for compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and/or other laws. This can be done at a channel and specific video setting level. For more information, see here.
  4. Once library storytimes resume and schools reopen , teachers and librarians agree to destroy all recordings, and take down any online recordings from their platforms.
  5. These storytime or read-aloud live events may not be maintained in the archive of the social media platform and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that videos of the live events are not retained. Because these platforms automatically archive live events by default, when your event has concluded, please locate the recorded live video in your account (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and delete it.

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



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