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National Simultaneous Storytime 2023 - Let's make it memorable

Updated: Mar 18

In 2022 more than 2 million people celebrated reading and literacy with National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS). As we prepare for the 2023 edition of this fantastic event, let's take a look at why it's so important, how you can get involved and some of the resources we have at Learn From Play to help you make NSS 2023 memorable!

Overview of National Simultaneous Storytime

National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is a nationwide event that takes place annually on the fourth Wednesday of May. This year, it will be held on May 24th, 2023 at 11am. The event is organised by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and its purpose is to promote the value of reading and literacy. During NSS, people of all ages come together to read the same story at the same time. This creates a powerful sense of community and encourages young people to develop a lifelong love of reading.

History of National Simultaneous Storytime

NSS was first launched in Australia in 1997. It was created in response to a decline in library usage and the need to promote literacy among young people. Since then, the event has grown in popularity and is now celebrated in over 5,000 libraries and more than 4,000 schools across Australia.

Why is National Simultaneous Storytime important?

NSS is an important event for many reasons. First, it helps to foster a sense of community and encourages people of all ages to come together to celebrate reading. It also helps to promote reading and literacy among young people, which is crucial for their future success. Reading is a vital skill that is required for success in many areas of life, from education to the workplace. By promoting reading and literacy, NSS helps to ensure that young people have the skills they need to succeed.

In addition, NSS helps to promote the value of children’s stories and the importance of reading for pleasure. In our increasingly digital world, it is easy to forget the joys of reading a book. It also serves to remind us of the importance of libraries, which are vital resources for communities around the world.

Benefits of National Simultaneous Storytime

NSS provides many benefits for both young people and adults. For young people, it helps to foster an early love of reading and develop literacy skills. It also provides an opportunity for children to come together and share their love of books with one another. For adults, NSS can be a great way to reconnect with the joy of reading and to share in the excitement of the event with their children.

How to get involved in National Simultaneous Storytime

National Simultaneous Storytime is open to everyone, so anyone can get involved! If you’re looking to participate, there are a few ways you can do so. First, you can attend an NSS event at your local library or school. Many libraries and schools host special events on the day of NSS and it can be a great way to get involved in the event.

You can also host your own NSS event. If you’re a teacher, librarian, or parent, you can organise an event of your own. All you need is a copy of the book and some activities to go along with it and that is where Learn From Play can help. Utilising any of our 30 activities can be a great way to engage your students or community members in the event and to promote reading and literacy.

The Speedy Sloth: This year's NSS book

This year’s National Simultaneous Storytime book is The Speedy from award-winning author Rebecca Young. It is a delightful story about a sloth who is determined to be the fastest animal in the jungle. An inspiring story which celebrates all winners, especially those who don’t come first, the story is full of humour and excitement and is sure to be a hit with children of all ages. The book also contains beautiful illustrations by Heath McKenzie that will capture the attention of any young reader.

Tips for hosting a memorable National Simultaneous Storytime event

If you’re planning to host an NSS event, there are a few steps you can take to make it a success. First, grab a copy of The Speedy Sloth and register on the ALIA website.

Second download some of the dozens of activities we have on offer. There are arts and crafts activities, games and puzzles, information and more to make NSS 2023 fun and engaging. The activities are designed to be used both in the lead up to the event, as part of your May 24th celebrations or after the event as a follow up.

Third, make sure to spread the word about your event and the activities your children completed to celebrate reading and literacy.

How to encourage reading beyond National Simultaneous Storytime

NSS is a great way to promote reading and literacy, but there are many ways to encourage a love of reading beyond the event. One great way is to create a reading corner in your home to encourage your children to read. You can also take them to the library or a local bookstore, which can be a great way to foster their love of books.

Once you have read a book with your child take advantage of online resources we have to help your children develop their literacy and comprehension skills and really ensure they enjoy books.

Finally, it’s important to set a good example for your children. Make sure to set aside time to read for pleasure and to talk to your children about the books you’re reading. Pop their finished Learn From Play activities somewhere they can be celebrated such as the kitchen fridge to help foster a love of reading in your children and to encourage them to read more.


National Simultaneous Storytime is a great way to celebrate reading and literacy. It is a wonderful event that is enjoyed by people of all ages and provides many benefits for both young people and adults. As we prepare for the 2023 edition of NSS, make sure to get involved and get ready to read! Get your activities now and start planning your event. With the right resources and a bit of creativity, you can host a memorable NSS event that will encourage reading and foster a love of books.

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