Australia Council funding for ALIA Online Storytime pilot 

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has received a grant of $30,000 from the Australia Council to support Online Storytime, a pilot program which brings library storytimes into people’s homes, raises awareness of Australian picture books and generates new income for authors, illustrators and publishers.

Following the receipt of this money ALIA will be creating additional benefits for registrants to the scheme. These benefits will include an elist and newsletter for library staff, and online events to connect libraries with authors and illustrators.

ALIA CEO, Sue McKerracher said, ‘This pilot has already been an enormous success with more than 130 library services registered, and more than $70,000 to be distributed to creators and publishers. The success of this pilot highlights the continuing need for online storytimes, and the value that libraries provide to their communities especially during renewed lockdowns and restrictions’.

The funding news coincides with ALIA’s decision to extend the pilot for a further 12 months to allow for a full evaluation. The scheme will now run through to December 2022, with libraries being invited to renew their subscription.

Interested public libraries who are not registered for the pilot can still sign-up. More information can be found on the ALIA website.

The pilot has also received positive feedback from library users:

‘I have a child with a disability and cannot leave home due to the current COVID situation and his health. The stories and wonderful work by your staff have been loved here at our house.’, Yarra Plenty Library user.

‘My daughter was one at the start of the pandemic. While we were regular attendees at our local library, everything shut down all at once. We were cooped up without a means to ‘jump our giggles out’. My little girl is always excited for Storytime and is energised by the experience. Your program kept us all sane through the worst parts of pandemic lockdown’, Maribyrnong Library user.

About the Australian Library and Information Association

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is the professional organisation for the Australian library and information services sector.

With 5,000 members across Australia, we provide the national voice of the profession in the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services, through leadership, advocacy and mutual support.

For more information contact [email protected].