In the exceptional circumstances caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, we are temporarily allowing schools, libraries and brick-and-mortar bookshops in the United Kingdom to replicate live storytelling through virtual platforms. Until 31st December 2020, UK-based teachers, librarians and booksellers will be able to share story time, read-aloud videos and live events stories online using the following guidelines.   

For teachers and schools providing distance learning in a virtual classroom setting:

Story time or classroom read-aloud videos – in which a Penguin Random House Children’s book is read aloud (and, for picture books, where the book is displayed on screen) – may be created and posted on closed educational platforms, in order to replicate the read-aloud book experience that would otherwise be available in the classroom.

You must follow these guidelines when doing do:

  • The author’s name (and, if relevant, illustrator) and the title of the book must be announced at the beginning of the video.
  • These videos can only be shared inside a closed educational platform, such as Google Classroom. Videos may also be uploaded to YouTube as a ‘Private’ video (i.e. a video that can only be viewed by people to whom the creator of the video sends an email link).
  • These videos may only be shared and hosted until the end of the year, up to 31st December 2020, after which they must be removed from the educational platform.
  • Please notify us by email (further information at the bottom of this piece) when sharing a story or book through these channels.

For librarians and brick-and-mortar booksellers:

Librarians and booksellers working in brick-and-mortar shops may continue to provide a live story time reading or other read-aloud experience for people who would otherwise visit the library or bookshop, through social media channels.

You must follow these guidelines when doing so:

  • The author’s name (and, if relevant, illustrator) and the title of the book must be announced at the beginning of the video.
  • You can read the whole of a picture book or, for all other books, an extract matching the same length as the in-store/ library reading time that would have taken place.
  • Videos may be shared to social media platforms for up to 7 days from the original posting or live-stream – but not saved after the seven day period – until 31st December 2020.
  • This applies to readings which are posted, whether in real time or pre-recorded, as live on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitter, and Instagram; and to pre-recorded videos posted on any social media platform feeds.
  • You should not save clips or archive recordings for future use. We would therefore ask that appropriate measures should be taken to ensure the videos are not retained by anyone afterwards (e.g. by adding a disclaimer for viewers). If the social media platform automatically archives a live video then we would kindly ask you to delete the video from the account as soon as the event has concluded or at most seven days from the original posting.
  • Please notify us by email (further information below) when sharing a story or book through these channels, and tag our relevant social handle: @LadybirdBooks, @PuffinBooks or @PenguinUKBooks

Reporting requirements:

We ask that all educators, booksellers, and librarians please notify us via email to penguinpermissions@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk using the header Special Reading Licence when you upload your read-aloud video providing the following information:

  • Name and address of the library or school
  • Title, author and ISBN of the book that is read
  • Contact information for the individual responsible for the reading
  • The educational platform / YouTube Channel / Social Media platform on which the video is posted or held and a link to that video or live event

If you have any further questions, please contact the Penguin Random House Permissions team via the email above.


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