Recommendations by Karen C

Drop-in Story Time is one of our longest running and most popular programs. When we realized we wouldn’t be able to offer this program in-person because of the pandemic, we knew we had to find a way to make this program available online.

Publisher's Permissions

One of the challenges we face with reading aloud stories during online programs is that we are required to ask for the publisher’s permission to read aloud a book, whether it be live on Zoom in a private event or recorded as a video to be watched by participants on demand. Most publishers have restrictions on how videos are shared with our program participants. For example, many publishing companies will not give permission for librarians to share a read-aloud video on an open social media platform - most require that viewers can only access the video with a password or privately shared link. Even then, there are strict rules we must follow for removing access to the video by a certain date.

The Particulars in a Pandemic

Hats are Not for Cats by Jacqueline K Rayner book jacket coverEach publisher has a specific set of information we must send with our request. Most ask for our contact information, our library’s name and address, the title of the book to be read aloud and the medium by which we will share it. Other publishers also ask for each title’s author, illustrator, ISBN, copyright date – and some ask us to provide links to where our videos will be accessed. Some publishers even ask us to specify exactly how many pages we wish to read aloud! With the exception of Access Copyright’s Read Aloud Canadian Books Program, each publishing company will provide its permission for free, so long as we use their preferred reporting tool. Some publishers require us to complete an online Google Form, some require a personal email sent to a particular address, and a few ask us to download forms to be submitted once per quarter. One requirement that all publishers have is that we include some variation of the phrase: “This picture book has been reproduced with kind permission of [Publisher’s Name]” at the start of the reading.

Tracking Titles of Tales

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats book jacket coverThroughout the Pandemic, Kelly, Laura M, and now Karen C have kept careful track of the publishing houses’ requirements and expiry dates using a complex, “living” Word document that we are constantly updating as publishers change requirements or extend their time limits. Over the course of 2021, our staff have:

  • been in contact with at least 24 different publishers
  • requested permission to read aloud 149 children’s books during 97 Story Time programs, and
  • only received one email indicating that we did not have permission to read aloud a specific book.

The Return of Drop-In Story Time

Drop-in Story TimeWhile we are grateful for the publishers granting us permission to share books with our littlest members online over the past two years, we are also happy to be nearing the end of this addition to our program planning process. On Tuesday, April 5 at 10:30 am, we are thrilled that Kelly will be offering our very first in-person Drop-in Story Time in two years!

If you missed our Story Time @ Home program over the last two years, you can stream some of the fingerplays, felt games and songs Kelly has shared over the past year.