Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Music and Story time Programs  

Music baby.” by cross-eyed doll is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

How do you incorporate music into your story time programs? Has this gotten more difficult as more music has gone in the direction of  streaming? This was a recent and interesting discussion on ALA Connect. In the past, we used CDs, but some of us moved on to streaming. This may be great for listening  – but problematic for story time programs. What works best—Spotify? YouTube? Apple Music? Amazon? Dropbox? CDs? To pay or not to pay?  

Read more: Music and Story time Programs  

We polled ALSC’s Childrens and Technology committee members to see how each of our systems tackle this issue. The solutions are varied and work for those of us who use them, but they may not work for all.  

With CDs, availability is the issue as they are neither being produced nor purchased as much. If you still have CDs, one option is to download them either to Dropbox or to a network drive. Both options allow everyone in the system access to the music.  

Library streaming music services such as Freegal and hoopla are great options for those libraries who subscribe to them. With Freegal, you can download a certain number of songs per month to keep. The only downside is the song selection may be limited.  

A couple of systems use iTunes Match accounts which allows one PC and up to nine devices to all share one iTunes account. You can also store music from other sources, such as CDs. Amazon is another option for purchasing songs or albums and these can be downloaded.  

Spotify and YouTube are both free options.  However, both have advertisements, and some of these advertisements may not be age appropriate. Spotify is also subscription based and can be used offline.  It has the ability to make playlists, and there are no advertisements. 

Table of music sources for programs.

Here are a few suggestions that some use for finding free online music. There are so many out there, these are just a few from those we asked.  

This site may not have been updated since December 2021, but it still contains reviews that may be useful:

Earsnacks is a podcast devoted to ’kids’ voices and ideas’:  

Suggested YouTube channels:

Fair use and funding are also factors to think about. Some librarians use their personal subscriptions. There are upsides and downsides to all of these options and hopefully you have found what works best for you.  

Let us know how you incorporate music into the library system & programming and if you have any “go-to” sites for children’s music. 

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group and III. Programming Skills.  

Angelique Kopa is a member of the ALSC Children and Technology committee, and she works for a public library in Maryland in Collection Development. 


  1. Maria Trivisonno

    LOL–this was my ALA Connect post. Now why didn’t *I* think to make it a blog post?

    Seriously, there doesn’t seem to be an answer to this. If some techy organization wants to CREATE an answer for librarians, they would probably have great success. Wish I personally had the know how!

  2. Angelique Kopa

    Yes, we did see your post after we decided to blog about it. As you said, there doesn’t seem to be an answer for all. We are all doing different things, things that work for us at the moment and hopefully something better will come along.

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