Round 1 Online Storytime grants announced 

Canberra, 18 January: The new year has brought good news for 37 library services in seven states and territories that have received community grants ranging from $1,000 to $3,600 to support the delivery of their Online Storytimes for 2022.

ALIA’s Online Storytime pilot program started in January 2021. It was developed to meet a growing need for online content during lockdowns and to help mitigate the risk of copyright infringement, while also giving publishers an annual payment through the redistribution of public library subscription fees. The program allows participating libraries to create short videos of picture book readings for their communities, which are posted on social media accounts, such as library Facebook groups or administered YouTube, Instagram and Vimeo channels.
 
Thanks to funding from the Australia Council and a grant from the Australian Government’s RISE Fund, libraries were able to apply for amounts ranging up to $10,000 to be used for anything to support the delivery of library Online Storytimes, including purchasing recording equipment, props, hiring an Auslan interpreter, translation into Indigenous languages, paying for local authors and illustrators to participate in sessions or technical training for library staff or contributors. 
 
‘The funding will be used to purchase equipment to enhance the quality of online productions’ said Robert Knight, Executive Director of the Riverina Regional Library and one of this round’s grant recipients. ‘These productions have become an integral and popular component of early literacy programs across the 19 libraries of our large library service.’
 
Another grant recipient, Brimbank Libraries, will use their grant ‘to deliver sessions in other languages, and to showcase First Nations authors as well as local Australian authors who are part of the Online Storytime agreement.’
 
We congratulate all the grant recipients in this round. The second round of grants ($20,000) will open 7 February 2022. Follow this link for more information and to apply.
 
Want to sign up for Online Storytime 2022? ALIA’s Online Storytime program is still open for subscriptions. New South Wales Public Library Association, Public Libraries Victoria and Public Libraries South Australia have pledged to cover the registration costs for all public libraries in these states. Register for 2022 or re-register your participation by contacting [email protected]