Blog | Publishers Adapt & Extend Policies to Help Educators

September 29, 2020

Publishers Adapt & Extend Policies to Help Educators

School Library Journal Newsletter (September 2020)

Since March 2020 and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, many educators have moved to remote learning and this has raised a new set of questions surrounding the reading of books aloud online and whether this is in violation of copyright laws? In response, and to help educators and librarians engaged in online learning and story times held via Zoom and other virtual means, many publishers relaxed copyright restriction on their works at the start of the pandemic and extended the program to the end of the year.

Skip Dye, SVP, Library Sales and Digital Strategy & SVP, Sales Operations, Penguin Random House, wrote this note in an accompanying PRH’s announcement: “With the uncertainty of what this upcoming school year will bring—either home-learning, in-classroom or a combination of both—and the number of requests to extend our Story Time Temp Permissions having increased over the past few weeks, we decided to announce the extension of the program through the end of 2020.”

In support of this program, here is a sample of what a few of the publishing companies have said:

August House

August House, Inc. is committed to sharing stories from the world’s great oral traditions. During this challenging time of the Covid-19 pandemic, August House, Inc. is supporting classroom teachers, families, educators, and librarians who wish to use our stories in a variety of ways. As a result, August House, Inc. grants permission to teachers, families, educators, after school care providers and librarians who would like to record and post online read-aloud versions of our titles for educational and non-commercial purposes.


During these challenging times, Bloomsbury wishes to support parents, teachers, and children while schools and public libraries are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Bloomsbury is therefore permitting teachers, authors, librarians, and booksellers to create and share story time, read-aloud videos, and live events temporarily, according to their guidelines. 

Crabtree Publishing

Crabtree Publishing Company is dedicated to supporting our education community as we navigate uncertain service challenges. We realize that librarians, teachers, home-educators, and parents are actively looking to provide reading resources for their students and community in an effort to keep them learning and reading. Virtual sharing through story time and online “read-alouds” provide that solution.

At this time, Crabtree is granting open permission to those individuals wishing to use our books in a virtual online setting to extend learning and engagement through “read-alouds”. We commend those individuals who have committed their efforts to furthering the education of their students and community during this time of uncertainty. It’s wonderful to see individuals coming together, in a virtual manner, to enrich their communities, with the love of books and reading!

Teachers, librarians, home-educators, and parents may use any Crabtree Publishing title in a read-along for non-commercial use until June 30, 2021.


Due to school, college, library, and bookstore closings, the General Books Group of HarperCollins Publishers has new policies in place to help educators, librarians, authors, and booksellers reach out to readers and students.

Terms for US only.

The terms are valid in the United States for books published by the General Books Group (adult trade books) of HarperCollins Publishers.

If you are an educator or librarian who would like to read a HarperCollins book online: We are granting permission to educators and librarians to read HarperCollins titles online, on video, through December 31, 2020.

These virtual readings may be streamed live via digital platforms, or if recorded, posted to closed educational platforms. If a closed platform is unavailable, recorded videos of readings may be uploaded to YouTube as long as they are marked “Unlisted.” 

Penguin Random House

For Teachers and Educators providing distance learning to students in a virtual classroom setting:

Story time or classroom read-aloud videos in which a Penguin Random House book is read aloud and the book is displayed (for picture books) may be created and posted to closed educational platforms such as Google Classroom, Schoology, Edmodo and Discovery Education, in order to replicate the read-aloud book experience that would otherwise be available to educators in the classroom.

If a Teacher or Educator plans to share a story time video by recording a video, uploading it to a YouTube channel, and posting a link to that YouTube video inside a closed educational platform, that YouTube video must be designated as “Unlisted” (not “Public”) when uploading. 

These story time and classroom read-aloud videos may be hosted on the educational platform and/or YouTube (as an “Unlisted” file) until the end of the current school year, after which we request that they be removed from the educational platform and/or from YouTube, unless this permission is extended for the next school semester.

For Booksellers, Librarians and other readers who wish to provide a story time reading or other read-aloud experience to young people:

Story time or read-aloud live events in which a Penguin Random House book is read out loud and the book is displayed (for picture books) may be streamed live, in real time, on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitter, and Instagram.

These story time or read-aloud live events may not be maintained in the archive of the social media platform and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that videos of the live events are not retained. Because these platforms automatically archive live events by default, when your event has concluded, please locate the recorded live video in your account (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and delete it.  

Whether or not the coronavirus continues to control the course of our daily lives, forcing us to make concessions in large and small ways, it’s easier to cope when we all work together. In modifying their restrictions, publishing companies show their ongoing support promoting a love of reading and learning within the education system as well as the literary world.