Once upon a storytime

Laura Armstrong


On 21 May 2014 at 11am AEST thousands of Australians all across the country will participate in National Simultaneous Storytime ( In libraries, classrooms, bookstores, and even their own homes, people will read the same book at the time. The purpose of National Simultaneous Storytime is to promote literacy amongst children and expose them to the magic and excitement of reading. Aimed at Years 1-6, it addresses key learning areas in the Australian Curriculum such as: interpreting, analysing and evaluating texts, and placing texts in context.

89. Once upon a storytime

Eric and one of his beloved elephants. Original artwork by Andrew Joyner. Used with permission

National Simultaneous Storytime also provides a way for families and communities to get involved in children's literacy, by sharing in their reading experience and introducing age appropriate themes for discussion.

In its 14th year, National Simultaneous Storytime is held as part of Library and Information Week. A celebration of all things library, this event aims to raise the profile of information service professionals and their institutions and give them an opportunity to showcase their assets and achievements. The theme for this year is Join the Dots.

Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner are author and illustrator of Too Many Elephants in this House (Penguin, 2012), this year's National Simultaneous Storytime title.

Ursula Dubosarsky
Photography by Vicki Skarratt.
Used with permission.


Libraries have always been and will always be the main place that children
will find books. Nothing rivals the library for the wide and rich availability
of books to children. As a child, for me the library stood as a place in my
mind where books were valued and important - in fact where books and
reading are the most important things. It's only in a library that all children
of all backgrounds can freely explore the huge range of books and where
they have the freedom to find their own tastes and discover literature at
their own pace.



89. Andrew Joyner
Photography by Akos Major.
Used with permission.


I grew up in a small country town on the Murray River in South Australia.
I still remember coming across a copy of Passport by Saul Steinberg, the
oblique New Yorker cartoonist and artist, on the shelves of our modest local
library. Looking back, it seems like a tiny miracle that it should have been there.
But I'm sure these tiny miracles happen every day in libraries all over Australia.
My reading life and my creative life have been built upon visits to the library.
Libraries are vital to every community, and for children, they're like a friendly
elephant of imagination and discovery.



Laura Armstrong

This issue we welcome Laura Armstrong as our new Connections editor.
Laura was born and bred in Auckland, New Zealand. Before moving to
Melbourne in 2011, she was completing a Masters degree in Art History at
the University of Auckland, and working as a television scheduler and Art
History tutor. Laura worked in customer service for Curriculum Press and
SCIS before becoming editor of Connections. She is especially interested
in war memorials and public art, and enjoys reading, drawing and all things
movie related.