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Penguin Random House Open License Online Story Time and Classroom Read-Aloud Videos and Live Events


In order to encourage reading and classroom read-aloud experiences, and to support schools and public libraries forced to close by the escalating COVID-19 outbreak, Penguin Random House is permitting teachers, educators, librarians, booksellers, and other qualified individuals to create and share story time and read-aloud videos and live events, according to the following guidelines through the remainder of the 2022-23 school year, until June 30th, 2023. This will be the publisher’s final extension of the program. (This Open License is not meant to grant permission for the posting of any pre-recorded audiobook product.)

Starting July 1st, 2023, Penguin Random House will launch a new program to better serve students, educators, and librarians, keeping many of the elements and ease of requesting permission to record and share read-aloud and story time events. Shaped by educator and librarian feedback from over the past two years, the Open License will continue to be granted to those recorded or streamed live read-aloud events to only the students, educators, librarians, or others who are in a closed internet environment for select and authorized viewers.

Information about this new program and how to participate will be announced closer to the start date of July 1st, 2023.

For Teachers, Educators, Librarians, Booksellers, and Other Qualified Individuals providing distance learning and read-aloud events:

  • Story time or classroom read-aloud videos in which a Penguin Random House book is read aloud (including the reader showing pictures in the case of picture books) may be created and posted to closed educational platforms such as Google Classroom, Schoology, Edmodo, and Discovery Education, along with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, in order to replicate the read-aloud book experience that would otherwise be available to teachers and educators in the classroom, librarians in the library, and booksellers in the bookstores. Other qualified individuals are included, as long as the reading is not for profit.
  • If a teacher, educator, librarian, bookseller, or other qualified individual 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, the video must be designated as “unlisted” (not “public”) when uploading. See screenshot for how to choose “unlisted” while uploading on YouTube.
  • These story time and read-aloud videos may be hosted on the educational or social media platform until DECEMBER 31, 2022. , after which we request that they be removed from the platform and from YouTube, unless this permission is extended.
  • Story time and read-aloud events that are live may not be maintained in the archive of the educational or social media platform. Because some platforms automatically archive live events by default, appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that videos of the live event are not maintained.  When the event has concluded, please locate the recorded live video in your account and delete it.  See a screenshot of how to delete a live video from YouTube.

Reporting Requirements:  We ask that all teachers, educators, librarians, booksellers, and other qualified individuals please complete this form.  As an Open License, permission will be deemed granted upon submission of the required information on the form, and compliance with the above guidelines.

If you have any questions, please email

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