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Frequently Asked Questions

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 Australian Children’s Literature is on permanent exhibit and children can connect, engage and be inspired by a range of quality Australian stories read on film by some wonderfully engaging storytellers. 

Story Box Library provides a vibrant, interactive experience via a diverse range of everyday Australian storytellers - sportspeople, musicians, grandparents, teenagers, comedians, actors, 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, 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 Australian stories and Australian voices.
  • Our library now consists of over 100 stories.
  • Each story comes with tailored Classroom Notes that are specifically created for the Australian curriculum. 
  • Our storytellers are chosen to ensure a broad range of voices, ages, gender and backgrounds to ensure diversity. 
  • We regularly add new stories, currently once per week during term time. 

 

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* & Gift Subscriptions
  • School Subscriptions
  • Public Library Subscriptions
  • Organisational Subscriptions (see Question 3 below for further information)

 

* Family subscriptions come with the option of monthly ($4.99) or annually ($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.

2. What do Subscriptions include?

 
Family & Gift 
School 
Public Library
Organisation

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

 ✔  ✔  ✔  ✔

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

** Family & Gift Subscriptions do not allow use on multiple devices and are not appropriate for use in a school environment. 

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, simply contact us here.

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.  Simply enter your details at the bottom of any page on our site.

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

Yes, Story Box Library would love to spread the word about our Australian talent, so we definitely do welcome international subscribers.  However, please do note that due to copyright restrictions, there are a few stories that international users will be unable to access.  (Although there are very few that fall into this category, we do endeavour to make international users aware of this). Current titles that are unable to be viewed outside of ANZ include:

  • The 39 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
  • Herman & Rosie by Gus Gordon
  • Peggy by Anna Walker
  • The Pros & Cons of Being a Frog by Sue de Genarro
  • Chester & Gil by Carol Faulkner & Ann James 

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 - just enter the recipient's details (along with your own details so they know who gave them the gift), pay and you'll be given the choice of whether to notify the recipient immediately by email or alternatively, you can have the voucher emailed to yourself to give at your own leisure. 

7. What is the difference between Account Holder log in and Viewer log in?

The Account Holder is the main contact responsible for the subscription. This person will receive all communication in regards to the subscription. They are also able to amend their account details via the Account Settings option once logged in. Viewers are those who are able to log in and access content only. 

8. How are 'page visits' calculated for school, public library and organisation subscriptions in the statistics section of the account holder information?

Page views are calculated as the number of times the website is accessed, not the number of stories watched. So one page view means there has been one logged in session, whether one or 10 stories are viewed during that session. 

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

  • Introduce children to new books or to explore 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.
  • 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.

 

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

Yes, from 1st January, 2017 we are amending 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 reset your password, select Account holder log in from the drop down log in menu on the home page. You can then reset the password by clicking the ‘forgotten your password’  button on the bottom of this page. Enter your email address and an email will be sent to you (the account holder). Click on the link in the email to reset the password.  This will only change the Account holder password, not the viewer password used to log in and view stories. 

To change any other details, simply log in under the Account Holder log in option from the drop down menu on the Home page, then click on the 'gear' icon in the top right corner and select Account Settings. Once in this section, you can edit and change any of your details. 

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

Subscription 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 Browse Stories page to see the stories that are suitable for each age range. 

14. How do I cancel my recurring subscription?

If you want to cancel your recurring monthly or yearly subscription, you need to:

1. Log in and go to your Account Settings page by clicking on the link in the Account menu (the one with the cog icon at the top of the website)

2. The right hand column of the Account Settings page shows you the status of your subscription, and important dates such as when your last payment occurred, and when the subscription is set to renew.

3. At the bottom of the right hand column there is a button that says ‘Deactivate subscription’. Click that button.

4. On the deactivation screen you have the option to deactivate the subscription immediately, or to keep it active until the end of the payment cycle.

5. Your recurring subscription has now been deactivated.

If you wish to set up a new subscription after you have deactivated your existing subscription (e.g. switch from monthly to annually recurring subscription or vice versa), follow these steps:

1. Go back to your account settings page 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 ‘Get annual subscription’  or 'Get monthly subscription' links

3. Enter the 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 Story Box Library family subscription and you want to switch from a monthly payment to a yearly payment you need to follow the steps below.

Deactivate your monthly subscription

1. Log in and go to your Account Settings page by clicking on the link in the Account menu (the one with the cog icon at the top of the website)

2. The right hand column of the Account Settings page shows you the status of your subscription, and important dates such as when your last payment occurred, and when the subscription is set to renew.

3. At the bottom of the right hand column there is a button that says ‘Deactivate subscription’. Click that button.

4. On the deactivation screen you have the option to deactivate the subscription immediately, or to keep it active until the end of the payment cycle.
When you create your yearly subscription, it will start on this date, so choosing to deactivate at the end of the monthly billing period will give you the best value for money.

5. Your monthly subscription has been deactivated, but don’t worry, you can get an annual subscription now!

Next...

Create your annual subscription

1. Go back to your account settings page 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 ‘Get annual subscription’ link

3. Enter the 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.

 

16. How can I redeem a gift voucher?

To redeem a gift voucher, go to www.storyboxlibrary.com.au and click on the 'Sign Up' option in the top right corner. Choose 'New Family' from the drop down list.

You will see this page:

2017 06 05 3

Choose 'Claim a Gift Voucher', then complete the required information in the online form below.

Remember to include the 'Gift Voucher Token' that you have been given in the required box. If you do not see a Gift Voucher Token redeem field, check that you have selected the 'Claim a Gift Voucher' option from the three subscription choices at the top of the screen.

giftvoucherredeem

Once all the information has been completed, you will receive a confirmation email and will be able to log in with the username/password that you have 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 - 5yrs)

  • Lower Primary (5 - 7yrs)

  • Middle Primary (8 - 10yrs)

  • Upper Primary (10 - 12yrs)

 

Additionally, stories can be used with children aged 12+. Please refer to the links below for more information. 

An article on the benefits of using picture books with older children published by ALEA (Australian Literacy Educators’ Association)- http://www.alea.edu.au/documents/item/495

How do you really teach with picture books - https://pernillesripp.com/2015/09/02/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 is aiming to provide content of the highest quality. We regularly add both stories (approximately 40 per year) and short films (approximately 3 a year) 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 Australian 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 have a number of unique storytellers currently online, and others chosen for future titles.  Actors, authors, musicians, sportspeople, grandparents, educators, people from different cultures - the list goes on.  The thing that they all have in common is that they are local.  Australian voices – with all the interesting diversity that brings.

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

Story Box Library is more than happy to consider suggestions for books and/or storytellers that will engage our subscribers.  If you have just read a great Australian story, send us your ideas.  It’s all about delivering a quality service to entertain, educate, with a commitment to local talents.  Contact us at admin@storyboxlibrary.com.au with your ideas.  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 subscription holders. 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 will be unable to download, embed 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 Play Queue work?

The Play Queue enables you to pre select stories to watch and play them continuously in a row.

Firstly browse the Stories page and you will find a white cross in a blue circle with the words 'Add to Play Queue' at the bottom of the video box. Click the cross and the selected story will be added to your Play Queue. Repeat with as many stories as you wish to add to the Play Queue.

Once you have finished adding stories to your Play Queue, you will see the number of stories listed in the top right corner of your screen next to the words 'Play Queue'. Click on the symbol to start watching the stories in your Play Queue. You will need to press Play for the first story, but after that, the rest of your chosen stories will play continuously until you either press Stop or the Play Queue comes to an end.

Technical Information

T1. Am I able to use the Story Box Library website on a hand held device (ie. iPad, Tablet, Smartphone)?

Yes, Story Box Library is compatible with hand-held devices that feature internet access such as those listed above.  Please note - Family Subscriptions will only allow users to log in to Story Box Library using one device at a time.  Please refer below to Question T5 for further information.  If you are having issues, please report details of your problem here.

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

Story Box Library offers a live 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. 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:

T4. Why is the video playback choppy?

Our current video player is through JW Player.  If your video playback isn’t smooth, here are some things you can try:

  • Try letting the video buffer before you view it (refer below to Question T5).
  • Close other browser tabs and windows. This can make a huge difference!
  • Make sure you have either the latest version of Flash running on your computer, or use a browser with native HTML5 support.
  • Switch to another browser to see if that helps.

T5. 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).  If you're experiencing choppy playback, pause the video, allow the video to buffer for a few moments, then try playing your video again.

T6. What browser & media 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. Browsers & media include Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, iOS and Android.

T7. Do I need a fast internet connection to watch the Story Box Library videos?

We are always striving to provide our subscription holders with the best service possible.  As streaming is a relatively recent and increasingly popular development, the technology available is growing rapidly.  As a result, we upgrade when and where possible.  However, if your internet connection is slow, or is unable to support video streaming, then you may have issues.  If this is the case and you are in a school, please check with your IT technician.  If you continue to have problems, please report issues to us here.  Your feedback is incredibly important.

T8. Do you have an App version available?

Creating a Story Box Library 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. 

 

1. Open Safari

2. Navigate to your relevant login page (e.ghttps://storyboxlibrary.com.au/schools for schools)

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.



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