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Update: Hachette Australia’s Virtual Storytimes policy still applies through to the end of December 2021 for any area in a local lockdown.

In the current climate of uncertainty surrounding school closures and access to books, Hachette Australia will be granting free permissions for online story-time events for those areas in a local lockdown in order to continue to support schools, bookshops and public libraries. Access to books for children is now both more crucial and less certain than ever. For that reason, Hachette Australia will be permitting authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians and booksellers who are restricted by lockdown to host read-aloud experiences across digital platforms, as outlined by the General Guidelines below.

PLEASE NOTE: It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the title being read aloud is a Hachette Australia title. If there is any doubt as to the rights status of the title, or whether the proposed usage fits the virtual storytime guidelines, applicants will have to make a standard permissions request through the licensing inbox and await further advice before proceeding.

Provided guidelines are complied with in full and all details as below have been provided, applications will not receive a formal response and can consider their storytime ‘preapproved’.


Teachers, librarians, booksellers, authors and illustrators providing content for children during the period to 31st December 2021:

  • Should announce the title of the book and the name of the author and/or illustrator as part of each video
  • Should notify us via email (addressed to using the subject heading ‘PERMISSION FOR VIRTUAL STORYTIMES’ when they post or stream a story-time or read-aloud video or live event, providing the following information:
    • Name and address of the library, school, or shop
    • Title, author and ISBN of the book that is read
    • Contact information for the individual responsible for the reading
    • The educational or social media platform on which the video or live event is posted or held and a link to that video or live event


  • School story-time or classroom read-aloud videos in which a Hachette Australia book is read aloud and the book is displayed may only be created and posted to closed educational platforms
  • These storytime and classroom read-aloud videos may be hosted on the educational platform for a maximum period of three months, after which they must be removed from the educational platform, unless this permission is extended by formal agreement


For authors, illustrators, booksellers and librarians who wish to provide a story-time reading or other read-aloud experience to young people who would otherwise visit the library or bookshop in person:

  • Story-time or read-aloud live events in which a Hachette Australia book is read out loud and the book is displayed may be streamed live, in real-time, on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitter, and Instagram
  • These story time 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.
  • Further guidelines for libraries can be found here:

From now until the 31st of December 2021, the abovementioned groups will be permitted to share read-aloud videos and live events on closed educational platforms, or streamed temporarily on live platforms. Should it prove necessary this date maybe extended, with the intention that this policy shall remain for the duration of the pandemic.

For clarity, this permission does not cover commercial use of the readings. If you are planning to charge for any use of these recordings, please contact to seek a formal agreement.

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