Help and FAQs

About Story Box Library

What is Story Box Library?

We'd like you to think of Story Box Library as an online 'reading room'. It’s a place where the wonderful world of Children’s Literature is on permanent exhibit and children can connect, engage and be inspired when they watch a range of celebrated stories read aloud by wonderfully engaging storytellers. 

Story Box Library provides a vibrant, interactive experience via a diverse range of everyday storytellers - actors, comedians, sports people, musicians, artists, authors, children - with varying accents and from different cultures, each sharing past and present book titles. The result is meaningful, entertaining readings that focus on both teller and tale.

How can Story Box Library be used?

Use it as a bedtime tale, a facilitator for discussion in the classroom, a complement to library storytime, or a read aloud model - the choice is yours. No matter what the reason for your visit to Story Box Library, we help children journey to that most uniquely precious place; the wilds of their own imagination.

Why choose Story Box Library over other 'free' storytelling websites?

  • Story Box Library focuses solely on local stories and voices.
  • Our library now consists of over 200 stories.
  • Each story comes with tailored Classroom Notes and/or At Home Activities that are specifically created for the Australian curriculum, further connecting children to the themes of each story.
  • Our storytellers are chosen to ensure a broad range of voices, ages, gender and backgrounds to ensure diversity. 
  • We regularly add new stories, currently 40-60 each year.
  • Access is free for families and students to access at home via participating public libraries and schools.
  • Closed Captions available for each story.
  • Our website is completely free of any advertising.

How can we fund a Story Box Library subscription if our budget has already been allocated?

  • Try approaching the school PFA / P&C for funding - a few schools have found this to be a very successful option. After all, with the opportunity to boost literacy levels and inspire a love of storytelling in this digital age, it's an investment in the future of your students. Parents LOVE to support that – so just let them know about us and you might be thrilled to find that they will support you in a stress-free, fully-funded solution.
  • Hold a fundraising day for the students (this is OUR favourite). Try a casual dress day or 'bring a favourite book' (along with a gold coin donation). Just one day's fundraising should be enough to give you access to a year of our Story Box Library... and it won’t have to cost your school budget a cent!
  • Hold a Story Box Library viewing in your library after school for parents and students to attend (along with a gold coin donation) – a lovely way to bring families together.
  • Look to other areas of the school budget, not just the library. After all, with our comprehensive teachers' notes and suggested activities, Story Box Library is a literacy resource that can be used in every classroom!

How do I make changes to my e-newsletter subscription?

Open one of the e-newsletters that you have received from us and click on the 'Update Your Preferences' link in the footer of the email.

Subscriptions

1. What types of Subscriptions are available?

Story Box Library offers a range of different Subscriptions according to your unique needs:

* Family subscriptions come with the option of monthly (AU$4.99) or annually (AU$39.99) recurring payments. Subscribers can choose to deactivate or upgrade their recurring subscription at any time. See questions 14 and 15 in the Subscriptions section for more information.

** Professional subscriptions are recurring payments. Subscribers can choose to deactivate or upgrade their recurring subscription at any time. See questions 14 and 15 in the Subscriptions section for more information.

2. What do Subscriptions include?

 
Family & Gift 
School &
Early Childhood
Public Library
& Tertiary
Professionals

Aust & NZ subscribers have access to ALL stories that feature in our growing library*

✔   ✔  ✔ ✔ 

Range of short films that enable children to discover the creative process behind the books

 ✔  ✔

Related 'Classroom Ideas' for each story that are linked to the current Australian Curriculum 

   ✔    ✔ 

Related 'At Home Activity' for each story

 ✔    ✔  

Compatible with computers & devices that include internet access (limited to ONE device at any given time)

 ✔      ✔ 

Compatible with computers & devices that include internet access (multiple devices may be used at any given time)

   ✔  ✔  

Advertisement free zone

 ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔

Closed captions available for every story

 ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔

Each story in our library has a link to purchase the book

 ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔

Email newsletter to notify you of added stories, short films, events etc

 ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔

* International subscribers please refer to Question 5

3. I am interested in taking out a subscription but do not appear to fit any of the categories above; do you provide custom quotes?

Yes, Story Box Library encourages all types of organisations and individuals to take out a 12-month subscription. The types of organisations currently subscribed include:

  • Hospitals
  • Remote Schools
  • Kindergartens & Pre-Schools
  • Childcare Centres
  • Family Day Care
  • Homeschoolers

We are happy to provide a custom quote based on the information you provide.

4. Do I have to become a subscriber in order to receive to your email updates?

No, taking out a subscription is not necessary. If you sign up to our e-newsletter, you can enjoy receiving our most up-to-date information about new releases and future events for free.

5. I don’t live in Australia or New Zealand. Can I still take out a subscription?

Yes, Story Box Library would love to spread the word about our local talent, so we definitely welcome international subscribers. The vast majority of our stories are available to be viewed outside as well as inside Australia and New Zealand. However, due to copyright restrictions, stories published by Scholastic Australia and a small number of titles from other publishers are currently unable to be accessed by those users geographically located outside of Australia and New Zealand.

6. Can I purchase a subscription as a gift for somebody else?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, we think a 12-month Family subscription would make a lovely gift. You can purchase a gift voucher here - you'll be given the choice of whether to send the recipient the voucher via email, or alternatively you can have the voucher emailed to yourself to gift at your leisure.

7. What is the difference between an Account Holder and a Viewer?

The Account Holder is the main contact responsible for a School or Library subscription. This person will receive all communication in regards to the subscription, including billing. They are also able to amend their account details in their Account Settings when logged in. Viewers have a different password which only provides access to story content (not account settings).

8. How are 'story views' calculated in the Statistics section of the Account Holder's settings?

As of March 2019, story views represent the number of stories played in a particular month from any part of the website, including stories in playlists.

Prior to this time, 'page visits' represented the number of story pages that were loaded, regardless of whether the videos were played. Due to now resolved technical limitations, stories watched in playlists were not counted.

9. What are the benefits of using Story Box Library?

FOR SCHOOLS

  • Introduce children to new books or to explore the work of a favourite author/illustrator.
  • Use during reading/writing sessions to show children that reading is fun.
  • Make connections to Curriculum themes and positive values and encourage students to explore personal, social and cultural differences.
  • Related Classroom Notes for each story, linked to Curriculum.
  • Closed captions option available for each story.
  • Children can experience 'meeting' real authors/illustrators through short films, and find out what motivates them and how they work.
  • Use to explore language features such as rhyming words, adjectives and verbs. Highlight interesting vocabulary in stories.
  • Develop comprehension skills by asking children to watch stories then write comprehension questions for each other.
  • Ask students to make personal connections with stories and to consider both author's and illustrator's messages, both through words and images.
  • Stories are springboard to discuss writing techniques and how language use and aesthetic design combine to make a quality story.
  • ESL students can develop their spoken language by watching stories and hearing English words. Teachers can highlight key vocabulary and encourage children to develop growing English skills.
  • Highlight, experiment and develop reading expression. Focus on the voices that are used to indicate characters' feelings and actions.

 

FOR LIBRARIES

  • Continually expanding library of thought-provoking, entertaining storytelling segments.
  • Content to inspire pre-schoolers & primary school aged children.
  • Range of short films that enable children to discover the creative process behind the books.
  • Related At Home Activity for each story.
  • Closed captions option available for each story.
  • For Library Member use both within the library and remotely on a range of devices that have internet access.
  • Advertisement free zone. Our website is completely free of any advertising.
  • Copyright allows screening of the website for public within the public library setting.

 

10. Can students use the school subscription to access Story Box Library at home?

Yes, from 1st January 2017 we amended our terms and conditions to allow schools with paid subscriptions to pass on their viewer log in details to students to access Story Box Library from home. 

11. Does a subscription run from the purchase date or is it based on a calendar year?

Subscriptions run from the date of purchase and last for 12 months. So for School subscriptions, all four terms plus the holiday period are covered by the one 12 month subscription, regardless of purchase date.

12. How do I change the password or contact details held on my account?

To change any account details log in with your Account Holder password, move your mouse over your name or company in the top right corner of the screen and choose "Account Settings". (If your organisation accesses Story Box Library via EZproxy you will already be logged in as a viewer and you will see the option "Access Settings", which will prompt you to enter the Account Holder password.)

On the Account Settings page you can edit contact information, viewer log in details (School subscriptions) and the Account Holder password ("Change password" at the bottom of the right hand column). If you want to update any other account information (such as IP addresses, referring domains or barcode ranges for Public Library subscriptions) please contact us.

If you can't remember the Account Holder password, submit your email address here to receive instructions for creating a new one.

13. Can I purchase a subscription to cover only certain grades or do I need a whole school subscription?

School subscriptions numbers MUST include all students enrolled in years Prep/Foundation to Grade 6. Story Box Library is a resource that can be used across all primary levels. Use our helpful filter tool on the Stories page to see the stories that are suitable for each age range.

We also offer Professional subscriptions which are suitable for student, relief and casual teachers or schools that only require single device access.

14. How do I cancel my recurring subscription?

This information is relevant to recurring Family (monthly or annual) and Professional (annual only) subscriptions. If you have questions about your School or Public Library subscription please contact us.

To cancel your recurring monthly or yearly subscription:

  1. Visit your Account Settings (you will be asked to log in if you aren't already).
  2. The right hand column shows the status of your subscription and important dates such as when your last payment occurred, and when the subscription is due for renewal.
  3. At the bottom of the right hand column there is a link that says 'Cancel Subscription' - click this if you wish to cancel.
  4. On the next page you have the option to deactivate the subscription immediately, or to keep it active until the end of the payment cycle.
  5. Once you make a choice and confirm the deactivation your recurring subscription will be cancelled and you will receive confirmation via email. Please contact us as soon as possible if you do not receive a confirmation email.

To set up a new subscription after you have cancelled your existing subscription:

  1. Go back to your Account Settings and you will see a message above your account details that will prompt you to get a monthly or annual subscription.
  2. Click on the button for the subscription you wish you sign up for.
  3. Enter your credit card details on the payment page. You’ll see when the payment is due to be made. If you deactivated a monthly subscription and chose to keep it active until the end of the monthly billing period, you’ll see that the payment date of the new annual subscription will be in the future.

15. How to I upgrade my subscription from monthly to annual?

If you’re enjoying your Family subscription and you want to save money by switching from monthly payments to a yearly payment you need to follow the steps below.

Deactivate your monthly subscription:

  1. Visit your Account Settings (you will be asked to log in if you aren't already).
  2. The right hand column shows the status of your subscription and important dates such as when your last payment occurred, and when the subscription is due for renewal.
  3. Click the link at the bottom of the right hand column that says 'Cancel Subscription'.
  4. On the next page you have the option to deactivate the subscription immediately, or to keep it active until the end of the payment cycle. Choose the option to deactivate at the end of the monthly billing period as this will give you the best value for money.
  5. Once you have confirmed your selection you are ready to set up your annual subscription!

Create your annual subscription:

  1. Go back to your Account Settings and you will see a message above your account details that will prompt you to get a monthly or annual subscription.
  2. Click on the button for an annual subscription.
  3. Enter your credit card details on the payment page. You’ll see when the payment is due to be made. As you chose to keep the previous monthly subscription active until the end of the monthly billing period, you’ll see that the payment date of the new annual subscription will be in the future.

16. How can I redeem a gift voucher?

To redeem a gift voucher visit this page and complete the required information in the form. Make sure you include the 'Voucher Token' that you have been given in the required box at the bottom of the form.

Once you've filled in all the required information and clicked 'Create Account' you will receive a confirmation email and will be able to log in with the username/password that you created.

Storytelling Segments

S1. Are your stories suitable for children of all ages?

Our stories have been selected with children of pre-school and primary age in mind. Stories have been broken down into the following categories:

  • Pre-school (3 - 5 yrs)
  • Lower Primary (5 - 7 yrs)
  • Middle Primary (8 - 10 yrs)
  • Upper Primary (10 - 12 yrs)

Additionally, stories can be used with children aged 12+. Please refer to this article on the benefits of using picture books with older children published by ALEA (Australian Literacy Educators’ Association) and 'But How Do You Really Teach With Picture Books?'.

S2. Will stories be added to your online library regularly?

Story Box Library has a small creative team that aims to provide content of the highest quality. New stories are added every week throughout school terms (approximately 40-60 stories per year) as well as short films to ensure that our library grows steadily. We invite you to sign up to our e-newsletter in order to receive updates on new and upcoming content and events.

S3. How are your books selected?

Many factors determine the selection of books that are showcased on Story Box Library. Firstly, we look to good quality local titles that will be entertaining for primary school-aged children. We also look for books that are connected in some way to the current Australian Curriculum, available for use from the original creators and suitable as 'read aloud' material – a great adjunct to their school-based education.

S4. How are your storytellers selected?

Story Box Library aims to include a variety of different readers with varying backgrounds. We currently feature many unique storytellers and others chosen for future titles. Actors, authors/illustrators, musicians, sports people, comedians, grandparents, school children, educators, people from different cultures - the list goes on. The thing that they all have in common is that they are Australian and New Zealand voices with all the interesting diversity that brings.

S5. Can I request a book or nominate a storyteller for you to consider?

We're more than happy to consider suggestions for books and/or storytellers that will engage our subscribers. If you have just read (or released!) a great Australian or New Zealand story, send us your ideas. It's all about delivering a quality service to entertain and educate, with a commitment to local talents. Use our contact form and select 'This enquiry is about Publisher or Story Submissions'.

Please note, we have a number of titles and storytellers lined up to appear on our library, so whilst we are happy to hear from you, it may be some time before we are able to consider your suggestion.

S6. Can your stories and associated material be viewed on any other websites?

The vast majority of our content is exclusive to Story Box Library subscribers. However, we do have our own YouTube and Vimeo channels where the public can access promotional material including the odd story or short film (often for a limited time). Users are be unable to download or save clips onto their computers (refer to our Terms & Conditions for further information). Occasionally, Story Box Library will promote a story or short film on another website - ALIA's annual National Simultaneous Storytime is a perfect example of this.

S7. How does the playlists feature work?

You can use playlists to curate your own lists of stories to watch. You can add multiple lists, give them each a specific name, re-order them and they will be saved for future use.

How to add stories to a playlist:

  1. Find stories you would like to add via the Stories page or using the search function.
  2. Click the '+ Playlist' button, eg:
    AddToPlaylistMobileAddToPlaylistDesktop
  3. Choose an existing playlist from the dropdown list, or type the name of a new playlist in the box. Click confirm.
  4. You can continue to add stories to your existing or new playlist by repeating steps 1-3.

How to watch a playlist:

  1. Click 'My Playlists' button in the top right hand corner of the screen to open the playlist menu.
  2. Click on the name of the playlist you want to watch. The list of stories within that playlist will open.
  3. Click 'PLAY' next to the story in the playlist you want to start watching from. A video window will appear.
  4. Click the play button on the video to start watching. When the current story finishes, the next one will play automatically.
  5. If you click the 'Skip Intro' button, the intro song will be skipped on all videos in the playlist until the next time it is played.
  6. If you want to skip to the next story in the playlist, click the arrow pointing to the right.

Editing playlists:

  • With the playlist window open, you can drag and drop playlists to rearrange them.
  • You can also drag and drop stories inside playlists to rearrange them.
  • To edit the name of a playlist, click the pencil icon next to it.
  • To delete a playlist, click the X next to it.
  • To delete a story inside a playlist, click the X next to it.

S8. Do the stories come with QR codes?

Yes, we do have QR codes for selected stories that can be found (where available) on the last page of the related Classroom Ideas which are linked from the story page when you are logged in with a School or Professionals subscription.

However, QR codes were introduced in 2016, so are only available for titles released after this date. QR codes can be created easily by using a free QR code generator (such as QR Code Monkey) simply copy and paste the story URL into the code generator and it will create a QR code for your use.

Technical Information

T1. Do I need a fast internet connection to watch the Story Box Library videos?

A reliable internet connection is recommended, however if your connection is on the slow side our video player will automatically stream a lower quality video file for you which will play more quickly and smoothly than the high definition versions over a slow connection. If you still experience choppy video playback, refer to Question T5 below for some tips to improve it.

T2. What is 'streaming', and why is Story Box Library limited to streaming?

Story Box Library offers a live video streaming service. Streaming means watching our videos in real time instead of downloading a file to your computer and watching it later. Story Box Library enters into licensing agreements with publishers to allow books to be streamed through our digital platform. These agreements restrict Story Box Library from providing the option to download videos.

T3. Which browsers can I use to watch the Story Box Library videos?

Our video player, JW Player, leverages both HTML5 video and Adobe Flash, which allows it to support a wider range of browsers/devices and audio/video formats than is possible with HTML5 or Flash alone. Supported browsers include Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge. Most features will probably work in Internet Explorer 11, however it is not recommended.

T4. Am I able to use the Story Box Library website on a tablet or smartphone?

Yes, Story Box Library is compatible with hand-held devices that feature internet access such as iPhones, iPads and other smartphones and tablets. Please note that Family and Professional subscriptions only allow users to log in to Story Box Library on one device at a time, so if you were previously logged into Story Box Library on your computer and wish you access it on your smartphone, you will need to log out on your computer first.

T5. Why is the video playback choppy?

If your video playback isn’t smooth, here are some things you can try:

  • Pause any large downloads that are in progress while you're trying to watch videos.
  • Close other browser tabs and windows. This can make a huge difference!
  • Let the video buffer before you view it (refer to Question T6 below).
  • Click the HD button and choose a lower video resolution (lower number).
  • Make sure you have either the latest version of Flash running on your computer, or use a browser with native HTML5 support such as Chrome or Safari.
  • Update your browser to the latest version.
  • Restart your computer/device.
  • Check your internet connection - if other videos (eg YouTube) are also choppy, you might need to speak with your IT technician or internet service provider.

T6. What is video buffering and how do I do it?

Your playback should be smooth as long as you're viewing your video within the light gray buffer region (at the bottom of the video screen):

VideoBuffering

If you're experiencing choppy playback, pause the video, allow the video to buffer for a few moments, then try playing your video again.

T7. I see the error 'No playable sources found' when trying to watch a video in Firefox

Story Box Library serves adaptively streaming video - meaning the most appropriate resolution videos will be streamed depending on the user's internet connection.

Firefox and Internet explorer cannot natively play HLS streaming video, and in those cases the Flash plugin needs to be installed so that the Flash version of our video player can be used instead of the default HTML5 video player.

If you’re having trouble viewing videos in Firefox and getting the error message 'No playable sources found' you should try:

  • Installing and enabling the latest version of Adobe Flash Player
  • Using a browser that natively plays HLS streaming video such as Chrome or Safari

T8. Do you have an app version available?

Creating a Story Box Library app is definitely on our radar, however not yet available.

In the meantime, you can create an icon for your device which acts like an app and when clicked, takes you directly to the log in page for Story Box Library.

On iPhones and iPads:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Navigate to the Story Box Library homepage and tap the LOGIN button in the top right corner.
  3. Tap the icon that looks like a square with an arrow coming out of it at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Tap the 'Add to Home Screen' button.
  5. Tap 'Add' in the top right corner.
  6. The icon will be added to the iPad/iPhone and can be dragged/rearranged/grouped just like any app icon. The next time someone wants to access the site they can just tap the icon to go straight to the login page.

T SBLLoginPage T AddToHomeScreen T SBLIcon

Don't have an Apple device? Find out how to add website icons on other devices here.

T9. Why does the search box not find some stories?

The search functionality will return all pages that include any of the words you are searching for. If you wish to find a specific story, try using quotation marks around the search words, eg: “what do you wish for”.

If you do not use quotation marks, the search results will return over 100 results, i.e. any of the pages that contain any of those words.

If you use quotation marks, the search results will only include pages that display all of those words in the same order. 

T10. How do I turn on closed captions?

Viewers can choose to turn captions on or off so that the text will appear on the screen while watching a story.

Please see image below that shows the location of the on/off captions toggle button.

How the captions display will depend on the Internet browser that you are using. If you are experiencing difficulties viewing the captions, try switching to another browser.

We recommend using Mozilla Firefox for best results.

captions image

T11. Can I save Story Box Library passwords to make logging on easier?

Yes, to avoid time-consuming logging in, you can save Story Box Library passwords in Safari on an iPad or iPhone so that they don't need to be typed every time:

  1. Go to Settings > Safari > AutoFill
  2. Turn on "Names and Passwords"
  3. Go to Settings > Safari > Passwords
  4. Enter the passcode
  5. Tap "Add Password"
  6. Put storyboxlibrary.com.au for the website. Fill in your username and password. 
  7. Tap "Done"

 

We also recommend adding the Story Box Library icon to your device homescreen, (see question T8). If you have done this, then the log in process is simple:

  1. Tap the Story Box Library icon
  2. Tap the "Username" field
  3. Tap "Passwords" at the top of the keyboard
  4. Tap your username
  5. Tap "Log In"
  6. And once they're logged in it will last the whole school day

 

N.B. Once password autofill is turned on, Safari will prompt the user to save any new passwords when they're entered - for any site. If they agree to save the password, anyone else that uses that device will be able to log in with those details. For shared devices, this may be problematic, so please ensure you are aware of how the password autofill works and the implications for the device it is being used on. 

T.12 Troubleshooting Tips

If you are experiencing difficulties with www.storyboxlibrary.com.au, here are a couple of things to consider:

  • What device are you using to view the story (eg Windows computer, Mac, iPad)?
  • What browser are you using (eg Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox)?
  • Have you been able to play Story Box Library videos prior to today?

Here are some ideas to troubleshoot:

  • Are you using the latest version of your internet browser? Your IT staff should be able to help you with this.
  • Does the video work if you load the site on a different device or browser? For example, if it doesn't work on an iPad, does it work on a computer? If it doesn't work in Internet Explorer, does it work in Chrome?
  • Is your school or library using some kind of security filter to block certain types of content (eg Zscaler)? If a filter is in place it will need to allow video content and whitelist the domain "*.cloudfront.net" - you might need to check with your IT team.