Publisher Guidelines on Fair Use for Online Storytimes & Read-Alouds during COVID-19 School Closures

Many teachers & librarians are reaching out to authors and illustrators to ask about permissions for sharing online read-alouds, either live or recorded, for students who are currently learning at home. While we may be able to say “Sure, that’s fine with me,” we actually can’t give you legal permission. That has to come from publishers, and many have begun to issue statements and guidelines to help out. Please note that some are sharing policies publicly, while others are asking teachers & librarians to request those guidelines via email. You can either email the publisher or the author of the book you’d like to read, as many of us have those guidelines and have been told it’s fine to share them with you via email.  Here’s what I have so far. Publishers, authors, & illustrators – please email me if you have more official updates, and I’ll add as soon as I can.

From Chronicle Books:

Chronicle Books has issued a generous policy to make sure all kids have access to their titles as shared read-alouds during this time. LIBRARIANS, TEACHERS, AND EDUCATORS can read Chronicle books to students (any students, not just their own) in live or prerecorded videos. Please follow their guidelines:

Librarians, Teachers, and Educators can read Chronicle books to students (any students, not just their own) in live or prerecorded videos.

o In all video recordings (both live and prerecorded), please note that you are reading “with permission from Chronicle Books.”

o Wherever possible, we ask that you provide viewers with links to a variety of booksellers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, Chronicle Books

o Last but not least, please tag featured authors, illustrators, and Chronicle Kids so that we can join the fun! Instagram: @ChronicleKidsBooks Twitter: @ChronicleKids Facebook: @ChronicleKidsBooks

Chronicle’s policy covers nearly all of my picture books, so read away!


From Scholastic:

Scholastic has come up with guidelines that allow teachers & librarians to share read-alouds over closed platforms like Zoom, Google Classroom, and private, unlisted YouTube links that are available only to those with the link, through June 30. Details are here.

This policy covers my Marty McGuire series, my Ranger in Time historical adventure chapter book series, and my Silver Jaguar Society mysteries.

From Bloomsbury Kids:

Bloomsbury Kids isn’t sharing an official policy at this point, but they’ve set up general guidelines for fair use, allowing both live-streaming (not recorded) and password-protected, private read-alouds of entire works, as well as publicly shared read-alouds of excerpts (no more than 20%), all through the end of the school year. Bloomsbury is asking that you contact the publisher or the author of the work for more information on those guidelines.

This policy applies to most of my stand-alone novels, including these frequent classroom read-alouds!

There’s a wonderful and extensive teaching & discussion guide for CHIRP that you can download here. Thanks to educator/writer Melissa Guerrette for creating it!

From Candlewick:

The Candlewick guidelines above refer to my Fergus and Zeke easy readers.


More fair use guidelines from publishers:

Little Brown Books for Young Readers has published this book sharing permission statement for educators. 

Here is the current Penguin Random House Open License for Online Storytime, Classroom Read-Alouds, and Live Events.

Boyds Mills & Kane released this list of guidelines for Online Reading During the Coronavirus.  

Lee & Low has shared these temporary guidelines for online read-alouds.

Simon & Schuster has released these Online Book Reading Guidelines for Spring 2020.  

Here are MacMillan’s Content Use Guidelines for Teachers, Librarians, and Parents. 

And here is a temporary permissions statement from Abrams Children’s Books. 

HarperCollins has shared these guidelines for authors, illustrators, and educators regarding online read-alouds. 

Sourcebooks has shared these guidelines.

Here are guidelines from Charlesbridge, which is requesting that people email for permissions.

The Quarto Group’s guidelines for online read-alouds are here.

Lerner Books, at this time, has not released general fair use guidelines for its titles and is requesting that teachers & librarians fill out this online form to request permissions. 

School Library Journal has also started keeping track of publisher permissions and is sharing updates here.

That’s the information I have for right now, but I’ll keep updating this page as I learn more. If any other publishers or authors have additional permissions statements or updates, please reach out via the contact form on my website to share, and I’ll be happy to add.

Teachers & librarians – Thank you so much for all of the work you’re doing to make learning accessible as schools close. You’re such heroes for our kids and families right now. We see you. And we appreciate you so much.