National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).
Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country. Now in its 20th successful year, it is a colourful, vibrant, fun event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy, using an Australian children's book that explores age-appropriate themes, and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Foundation to Year 6.
By facilitating NSS we aim to:
- promote the value of reading and literacy,
- promote the value and fun of books,
- promote an Australian writer and publisher,
- promote storytime activities in public libraries and communities around the country,
- and provide opportunities to involve parents, grandparents, the media and others to participate in and enjoy the occasion.
NSS receives positive media coverage, generates a great deal of community interest and is held annually as part of Library and Information Week. 2018 was our biggest and most successful NSS to date with over 1,062,230 participants at over 8,255 locations.
What do we look for in the National Simultaneous Storytime book?
Each year, interested publishers send in possible titles. From a practical perspective, the publisher has to be able and willing to provide copyright release for use of the illustrations, book projection, translation into other languages and performance. The publisher also needs to commit to a special print run of several thousand copies. This narrows down the options. The criteria for choosing from the remaining books include: a positive storyline; appeal to a modern and diverse audience; suitability for read-aloud (language and length); how well the book lends itself to craft and other activities.