The autobiographies affirmed that the librarian has helped to develop the love of books and the sense of connectedness that students need in order to “want” to read. This in turn leads to choice reading, vocabulary increase, higher fluency and the ability to demonstrate those skills in a variety of ways. The individuals in the role of librarian have a huge impact on this willingness and interest in reading.
The school library, when one exists, is for many disadvantaged children a major source of exposure to books, magazines, and the newer media—learning materials that stimulate their thinking, creativity, learning, reading, and enjoyment. Our survey data suggest that children from a lower socioeconomic stratum who have a school library obtain a higher mean MCAS score than do similar children from schools that do not have such a program.
School librarians offer information literacy and technology instruction that is crucial for 21st century learners, particularly marginalized at-risk learners who may not have access to resources and computers in their homes. Furthermore, school libraries can provide students equal access to print and digital resources to help close the gap between privileged and at-risk students (Martin, 2008).
Traditionally, emergent storybook reading and emergent writing in the home have been seen as the major site of literacy development (Sulzby, 1991), however because so many children are in preschool situations and because so many families have [Limited English Proficiency], more emphasis is being put on the need for literacy development at out-of-the-home settings.
In this context [Nespeca , 1995], library outreach programs gain essential importance serving those who do not have the opportunity to use the libraries on site. The fact that library outreach programs are important for the people living in public housing homes is clearly stated in Kinney’s (1996) Ph.D. thesis and this naturalistic inquiry reveals that story mobile service has significant positive effects on children’s emergent literacy skills in these homes.
Libraries are places that are free to everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, language, or age. They are open to the public 7 days a week. Because low socio-economic and minority children are at risk in term of early literacy development and because books and literacy materials are less accessible to poor parents and their children, public libraries’ role as a free, public provider becomes even more vital to meeting this population’s demands for literacy materials and support.
Libraries have been working with families for years within and outside of libraries, providing access to print, motivating young children to read, and making connections with schools.
This study investigated how 26 Maryland public librarians were providing early literacy opportunities to young children and their families through their outreach services… All librarians knew the importance of forming home, school, and community partnerships and were working collaboratively among these spheres to help children succeed in school
Schools and community organizations, such as libraries, can serve to support families, as well as provide direct literacy experiences to children and youth that complement family practices (Epstein & Sanders).
Four elements seemed to generate excitement about the public library: the ability to check out many titles at one time, the ability to choose what to read, the availability of family programs, and the fact that all of the above came at no cost.