Children are being encouraged to gather at libraries across Whittlesea and Hume on May 23 to celebrate National Simultaneous Storytime.

Run by the Australian Library and Information Association, the annual event promotes the value of reading and literacy.

Now in its 18th year, National Simultaneous Storytime event involves a book written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator being read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools and childcare centres across Australia.

This year’s book is Hickory Dickory Dash, written by Tony Wilson and illustrated by Laura Wood.

The storytime will be held at the Whittlesea, Mill Park, Lalor, Craigieburn and Tullamarine libraries, as well as The Age Library at Broadmeadows, from 11am-noon on Wednesday, May 23.