Irish public libraries, publishers and writers have agreed a deal to facilitate online storytime sessions for young people while libraries and schools remain closed to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This initiative will provide another valuable resource for families alongside the online services already provided by libraries such as eBooks, eAudiobooks, and access to online learning resources on Askaboutireland.ie and Enfo.ie.
‘Spring into Storytime’ is the name of libraries’ annual celebration of families reading together. This year we want to highlight the incredible work of Irish authors, inviting everyone to #LoveIrishWriting. Library buildings may be closed, but in partnership with Irish writers and publishers, we encourage you to celebrate great Irish writing with our librarians online instead of in your local branch.
Storytime in the library is a special shared time for families and, thanks to the generosity of Irish publishers and writers, this deal will allow librarians to keep storytime alive online for our youngest members. Library storytimes are a fun way for children to enjoy stories, especially those who may not have access to books in the home or do not have access to new books at this time.
Irish librarians, writers and publishers are committed to inspiring a love of stories now more than ever and this partnership means children can continue to enjoy the best in Irish children’s books.
How will it work?
Our Irish publisher partners and the Irish Writers Union have kindly agreed to temporarily waive licence fees for the reading of selected books and the posting or streaming of videos online.
Librarians will stream storytime sessions or post them online on their social media channels, and these videos will remain online while library buildings are closed.
Follow your local library service’s social media channels or Libraries Ireland’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages to find out when storytimes in your area will be uploaded. Visit www.librariesireland.ie for more information.
The Irish publishers who have signed up are:
The O’Brien Press
Little Island Books
Reacting to the new partnership, Tom Enright, Wexford County Council Chief Executive and Chair of the Libraries Development Committee said:
“I welcome this partnership between public libraries and Irish publishers and writers and I thank them for their generosity in waiving licence fees at this time to facilitate virtual storytimes. Libraries provide so many vital services for Irish families, which are appreciated now more than ever before. Our library staff are eager to serve their communities in whatever way they can. We know this is a challenging time for families and we hope that virtual storytime, as well as all the other online services libraries provide, continue to be of value to all our members, from younger to older.’
Ivan O’Brien, Managing Director of The O’Brien Press and board member of Publishing Ireland said:
“Books and stories are more important than ever in these uncertain times. Libraries are a fantastic resource for the whole community, and Ireland’s writers and publishers are delighted to help them to continue to reach the widest possible audience with great Irish stories, both in English and Irish, even when their physical buildings are closed.”
Lissa Oliver, Chairperson of the Irish Writers Union said:
“Ireland is fortunate in having a wonderful tradition of writing for children and of publishing books that lift young imaginations into fantastic journeys, daring adventures and moving encounters. Such tales are much needed just now. Libraries have always been portals to the vast range of stories from Ireland and around the world and we admire our colleagues and friends in the libraries who at this time are looking to maintain that role through broadcasting their readings online. The Irish Writers Union are proud to be associated with this initiative, which will help entertain children through storytelling while respecting the copyright of the author.”