Public library virtual storytimes: When, how, and with what supports

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In response to the COVID-19 crisis, many public libraries began offering virtual storytime (VS) programs. Because of the relative infrequency of VSs prior to 2020, research in this realm is minimal. To get a snapshot of public librarians’ VS practices and library supports in relation to VSs, we surveyed children’s librarians nationwide. Based on responses from 415 librarians in the United States, we examined when, if at all, the librarians began offering VSs, the practices they employed as well as the supports in place that enabled them to do so, and their perceptions of the importance of those supports. Findings indicate that responding librarians quickly pivoted the modality of their programming in relation to lockdown orders and offered both pre-recorded and live programs. Participants identified some challenges to providing VS programs, including lack of technological support and tools to increase accessibility to children with hearing or visual impairments. Professional development, equipment, and technical support were identified as enablers of VS programs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Librarianship and Information Science
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • children’s library programming
  • public library programming
  • storytime
  • survey research
  • virtual programming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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