Monday, March 16, 2020

Tips on Doing Online Storytimes During COVID-19 Closures

Yep, BJ says ok to using his book for online use during the COVID-19 crisis according to Librarian Bookends @lbookends

Libraries around the country are closing in the wake of recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many library staff serving youth and families still want to be able to offer storytimes online in some way to their patrons.

One way to do this is to mount one - or a few - videos of authors reading their books. They are often warm, funny and like a bedtime story! See posts below for a plethora of links to this content.

But perhaps you want to connect personally with your kids and families, doing stories and rhymes and stretches just like in your regular storytimes. The question then becomes in what way and how to best do this to honor fair use and copyright with books you want to use. What is the best practice for you using books in this kind of online or digital storytime?

If you livestream (including FB live) your storytime, the consensus is that this is allowable fair use. If you then mount it on the website or on Facebook beyond that livestream, it would not necessarily be considered fair use (although this article in SLJ questions fair use in light of the COVID-19 crisis).  

Authors are starting to give permission to use books online in storytime (see posts below for bunches of permissions) but some are asking that it not be mounted permanently or for longer than the duration of the storytime. Publishers ultimately hold these rights. As of yet, they haven't weighed in at all as saying a-ok to mounting for longer than the stream. This 3/16/20 SLJ article has information about authors giving permission but also cautions that publishers ultimately hold the rights to the books. A suggestion is to read just part of a book to stay within fair use guidelines.

Be sensitive, be fair, try to use books for which authors have given permission or are in the public domain. Best practice is not to leave the storytimes archived on your webpage or FB page.

[3/20/19 Update: see this YSS blog post for a great guest post on the blog on Abby Bussen's tips on her experience doing an online storytime]

And stay tuned tomorrow for  our next blog post "Data Collection for Virtual Programs," with guidance on how to track attendance data for your livestreamed storytimes and other programs.

For more information and resources on virtual storytimes, please see earlier posts in our 
Online Storytimes YSS COVID-19 series:

For more information and resources on copyright and publishers, please see earlier posts in our Permissions (Books, Authors and Music) YSS COVID-19 series:

      Music Permissions? Look No Further  3/27/20; updated 3/31/20

No comments: