8/1/2016 – 9/1/2020
The present study examined the efficacy of a public library enhanced storytime intervention for parents and their preschool-age children from low-income households. Utilizing a randomized controlled design, analyses examined if participation in the 6-week Books Can…© program resulted in greater gains for parents and children (N=212) in positive parenting practices and children’s school readiness outcomes compared to families in a control group. In addition, indirect intervention effects on children’s school readiness outcomes through positive parenting were explored and differential intervention effects for a range of family characteristics were tested. Results indicated that parents in the intervention group demonstrated greater parental support for their children’s early learning compared to the control group. Group comparisons also revealed that the intervention resulted in greater parental support for children’s emotional development for families that reported English as their primary language at home, but not families who report speaking Spanish. The present results provide initial support for the efficacy of a public library enhanced storytime intervention in promoting positive parenting practices important for supporting young children’s school readiness, however the program did not show consistent benefits for all families. Indeed, the null findings for families who report speaking Spanish at home point to the need for two things: 1) to more closely investigate the storytime program curriculum and delivery to see how well it is meeting the needs and preferences of families who are typically underserved by community institutions like libraries, and 2) to critically evaluate the measures used and underlying assumptions behind the research design to evaluate programming like this.
Taylor, M., Pratt, M. E., & Whelan, M. (in press). The Partnership for Family-Library Engagement. Case Study invited for publication in A Librarian’s Guide to Engaging Families in Learning.
Taylor, M., Pratt, M. E., Eggum-Wilkens, N. D., & Gal-Szabo, D. E. (June, 2020). The Effects of Enhanced Storytime Programming on Parent Engagement. Poster accepted at the Administration for Children and Families’ National Research Conference on Early Childhood 2020 (Conference postponed due to COVID-19).
Taylor, M., Pratt, M. E., & Eggum-Wilkens, N. D. (June, 2020). Examining Features of Quality in a Public Library Enhanced Storytime Program. Poster accepted at the Administration for Children and Families’ National Research Conference on Early Childhood 2020 (Conference postponed due to COVID-19).
Taylor, M., Pratt, M. E., & Fabes, R. A. (2019). Public libraries as a context for the study of development. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 23(2), 51-62. *This is a reflective essay influenced by the work done on this project.
Taylor, M., Pratt, M. E., Gal-Szabo, D., & Gaias, L. M. (May, 2019). Promoting Parenting through Public Library Enhanced Storytime Programming. Poster presented at the 2019 Society for Prevention Research Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
Pratt, M. E., Taylor, M., & Gaias, L. M. (March, 2019). Promoting Involvement in Early Learning Among Linguistically Diverse Families Through Storytime at the Public Library. Poster presented at the biennial meeting for the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), Baltimore, MD.