The purposes of the present research were to provide empirical evidence of the ways in which preschool literacy programs in Ontario public libraries (1) facilitate participating children’s early literacy development and school readiness, and (2) influence family interactions supporting children’s literacy learning.
Key findings include:
- The early literacy library programs have been particularly strong in meeting parents’/caregivers’ goals of fostering children’s school readiness and their motivation to read.
- Participating children demonstrated many early literacy behaviors and understandings considered by leading early literacy researchers and experts to be foundational to later literacy success: vocabulary development; awareness of rhymes and sounds of language; and an understanding of books that were read by library staff.
- In addition to supporting these foundational underpinnings of children’s later literacy and school achievement, library staff served as excellent literacy models for the parents/caregivers, enabling them to make reading with their children more engaging and more productive in terms of learning early literacy skills and understandings.
- Developing children’s print awareness is a recommended topic for professional development of library staff.
- Eight of the 10 library staff members expressed a desire for workshops and resources to help them plan their preschool library programs.
Peterson, S. S., & Jang, E. (2012). Preschool early literacy programs in Ontario public libraries. Toronto, ON: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. http://fopl.ca/media/2013/11/OISE-Report-FINAL-29June2012.pdf