Behind this Site: Annotated Research Bibliography

This website will be under development throughout 2018. Check in periodically for updates. Stay tuned for annotation and/or abstracts, and further resources.

Adkins, D., & Higgins, S. (2006). Education for library service to youth in five countries. New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship, 12(1), 33-48.

Abstract: Youth services instructors from five countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States) were surveyed as to the content of youth-oriented courses they had taught between 2000 and 2003. A content analysis of those course descriptions revealed that youth-oriented library curriculum was heavily dominated by literature and materials, while management of the youth library and foundations of youth library services were less frequently emphasised. Course content is remarkably similar between regions, but looking at the content with regard to national differences suggests additions to curricula based on the needs of each country.

Albright, M., Delecki, K., & Hinkle, S. (2009). The evolution of early literacy: A history of best practices in storytimes. Children and Libraries, Spring, 13-8.

Introduction: What do you think of when you picture storytimes from decades past? Do you see rows of children sitting silent and attentive as a story is read aloud? Are parents in the room, active participants in their child’s early literacy experiences, or are they banned from storytime and relegated to the stacks?

An understanding of the storytimes of the past enriches those of today. Research into early examples shows surprising similarities to modern storytimes, which owe much to the  techniques and methods developed during these early years.

The concept of today’s preliteracy skills is rooted in concepts (such as reading readiness) and storytelling techniques (such as repetition and rhyme) originally used in the 1940s. Other concepts, such as dialogic reading, are a more recent innovation, but nearly every aspect of the best practices and standards of today’s storytimes has evolved over decades, using both timetested techniques and modern research and development, to provide children with storytimes that entertain, educate, and make them lifelong learners and readers.

Allor, J.H., & McCathren, R.B. (2003). Developing emergent literacy skills through storybook reading. Intervention in School and Clinic, 39(2), 72-9.

Abstract: This article describes strategies for using storybooks to facilitate emergent literacy. It begins by providing background information about three areas of emergent literacy: oral language, phonological awareness, and print awareness. It then describes how teachers can facilitate the development of these three areas through purposeful, yet playful storybook reading activities.

Aram, D., & Biron, S. (2004). Joint storybook reading and joint writing interventions among low SES preschoolers: Differential contributions to early literacy. Early Childhood Quarterly, 19, 588-610.

Abstract: The study compared two interventions: one focusing on language and storybook reading and the other on alphabetic skills and writing. Seventy-one preschoolers from a low SES city in [the center of] Israel, age 3-5 (35 in the reading program and 36 in the writing program) participated in the study. Twenty-four untreated preschoolers were chosen for control purposes. The children were tested twice, at the beginning and at the end of the school year, in: alliteration, rhyming, word writing, letter knowledge, orthographic awareness, listening comprehension, receptive vocabulary (PPVT) and general knowledge (WPPSI).

The writing program involved games and activities that encouraged letter knowledge, phonological awareness, and functional writing activities. The reading program utilized 11 children‘s books. In each reading session, student-mediators read the book aloud twice and discussed central concepts and ideas via games, creative activities, and drama activities. Results indicated that children in the two literacy programs progressed significantly more than the control group on three out of the five early literacy measures (alliteration, rhyming, and orthographic awareness). However, the joint writing group significantly outperformed both the joint reading group and the control group on all five literacy measures (alliteration, rhyming, word writing, orthographic awareness, and letter knowledge). We also found that children as young as 3 to 4 years gained from literacy programs as much as did older children, aged 4 to 5, on all the measures assessed in our program. The younger children even gained significantly more than the older children on receptive vocabulary (PPVT).

Arnold, R. (2003). Public libraries and early literacy: Raising a reader: ALA’s Preschool Literacy Initiative educates librarians on how to play a role in teaching reading to children. American Libraries, 34(8), 49-51.

Australian Library and Information Association (2010). Statement on public library services to young people in Australia. Deakin, NSW: Australian Library and Information Service. Retrieved from

Bing, K. (2009). The role children’s librarians play in fostering literacy in the community. (Masters Dissertation). Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University.

Bundy, A. (2004). Australian Bookstart: A national issue, a compelling case. A report to the nation by Friends of Libraries Australia (FOLA). Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 17(4), 196-217.

Bundy, A. (2007). Looking ever forward: Australia’s public libraries serving children and young people. Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 20(4), 173-82.

Byrne, B., & Fielding-Barnsley, R. (1989). Phonemic awareness and letter knowledge in the child’s acquisition of the alphabetic principle. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 805–812.

Byrne, B., & Fielding-Barnsley, R. (1995). Evaluation of a program to teach phonemic awareness to young children: A 2- and 3-year follow-up and a new preschool trial. Journal of Educational Psychology, 87(3), 488–503.

Carlson, H.L., & Stenmalm, L. (1989). Professional and parent views of early childhood programs: A cross-cultural study. Early Child Development and Care, 50, 51-64.

Celano, D., & Neuman, S.B. (2001). The role of public libraries in children’s literacy development: An evaluation report. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Library Association.

Cerny, R., Markey, P., & Williams, A. (2006). Outstanding library service to children: putting the core competencies to work. Chicago: American Library Association.

Clarke-Stewart, K.A. (1998). Reading with children. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 19(1), 1-14.

Department of Education, Science and Training (2005). Teaching reading: Report and recommendations: National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy. Canberra: Department of Education, Science and Training. Retrieved from

Diamant-Cohen, B., Riordan, E., & Wade, R. (2004). Make way for dendrites: How brain research can impact children’s programming. Children and Libraries, Spring, 12-20.

Dowd, F.S. (1997). Evaluating the impact of public library storytime programs upon the emergent literacy of preschoolers. Public Libraries, 36(6), 346–358.

Duke, N.K., & Kays, J. (1998). “Can I say ‘once upon a time’?”: Kindergarten children developing knowledge of information book language. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 13, 295-318.

Fehrenbach, L.A., Hurford, D.P., Fehrenbach, C.R., Groves-Brannock, R. (1998). Developing the emergent literacy of preschool children through a library outreach program. Journal of Youth Services, 18, 40-45.

Fader, E. (2007). How storytimes for preschool children can incorporate current research. Retrieved from

Fisher, H. (2000). Children’s and young adults’ service: Like a box of chocolates. Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 13(3), 113-18.

Fulton, R. (2009). Taking it to the streets: Every Child Ready to Read on the Go. Children and Libraries, Spring, 8-12.

Gambrell, L.B., Morrow, L.M., & Pennington, C., (2002). Early childhood and elementary literature-based instruction: Current perspectives and special issues. Retrieved from

Ghoting, S.N., & Martin-Díaz, P. (2006). Early literacy storytimes @ your library: partnering with caregivers for success. Chicago: American Library Association.

Gibbs, S.E. (1983). The training of children’s librarians. International Library Review, 15, 191-205.

Hamre, B.K., Justice, L.M., Pianta, R.C., Kilday, C., Sweeney, B., Downer, J.T., & Leach, A. (2010). Implementation fidelity of MyTeachingPartner literacy and language activities: Association with preschoolers’ language and literacy growth. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 329-47.

Hargrave, A.C., & Sénéchal, M. (2000). A book reading intervention with preschool children who have limited vocabularies: The benefits of regular reading and dialogic reading. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 15, 75-90.

Hatcher, P.J., Goetz, K., Snowling, M.J., Hulme, C., Gibbs, S., & Smith, G. (2006). Evidence for the effectiveness of the early literacy support programme. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 351-67.

Herb, S.L. (2012). Life, literacy, and the pursuit of happiness: The importance of libraries in the lives of young children: The Fourth Follett Lecture, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dominican University, 23 April 2008. World Libraries, 19. Retrieved from

Herd, S. (2000). Preschool education through public libraries. Retrieved from

Hindman, A.H., & Wasik, B.A. (2008). Head Start teachers’ beliefs about language and literacy instruction. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23, 479-92.

Huebner, C.E. (2000). Community-based support for preschool readiness among children in poverty. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 5(3), 291-314.

Johnston, R., & Watson, J. (1998). Accelerating reading attainment: The effectiveness of synthetic phonics. Interchange 57. Retrieved from

Johnston, R.S, and Watson, J. (2005) The effects of synthetic phonics teaching on reading and spelling attainment, a seven year longitudinal study. Scottish Executive Education Department. Retrieved from

Kellman, A. (1977). Services to preschoolers and adults. In S.K. Richardson (Ed), Children’s services of public libraries: Papers presented at the 23rd Allerton Park Institute (pp.99-103). Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science. Retrieved from

Korat, O. (2005). Contextual and non-contextual knowledge in emergent literacy development: A comparison between children from low SES and middle SES communities. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 20, 220-38.

Korat, O. (2010). Reading electronic books as a support for vocabulary, story comprehension and word reading kindergarten and first grade. Computers and Education, 55, 24-31.

Korat, O., & Shamir, A. (2008). The educational electronic book as a tool for supporting children’s emergent literacy in low versus middle SES groups. Computers and Education, 50, 110-24.

Kupetz, B.N. (1993). A shared responsibility: Nurturing literacy in the very young. School Library Journal, 39(7), 28-31.

Laughlin, S. (2003). Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® Pilot Project: 2003 Evaluation. A Joint Project of the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children. Huron, IL: Public Library Association.

MacLean, J. (2008). Library preschool storytimes: Developing early literacy skills in Children. Penn State University.

Excerpt: Public libraries have traditionally offered early literacy programming to preschool
children in the form of storytimes. Through the use of a wide range of high-quality picture
books, songs, poetry, fingerplays, puppets and crafts, public libraries have been making literacy fun! They have created inviting spaces for children to enjoy literacy-rich, hands-on experiences in an interactive and caring environment. Many public libraries have also provided tips for parents and caregivers on how to select and use age appropriate materials for their children.

By capturing a child’s interest and imagination early, librarians intuitively believe that they help children discover that libraries and literacy can be an enjoyable and valued part of their lives. Librarians believe that young children who become regular library users will benefit from the meaningful early literacy experiences available through storytimes. They also believe that this will allow children to develop the early literacy, communication and social skills needed to be ready to learn by the time they enter school. […]

Betsy Diamant-Cohen, Children’s Programming Specialist at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, states that public libraries “offer positive environments and nurturing settings that prepare preschool children for more structured learning situations” (Diamant-Cohen, 2007). By attending library programs on a regular basis, the child can develop the skills of listening, asking questions, taking turns, following instructions, and other important social skills required by the time they enter school.

Public library storytimes are so much more than just the reading of books. They are the planting of seeds for lifelong learning, the awakening of imagination, and the widening of mind and spirit.

Marks, R.B. (2006). Early literacy programs and practices at Colorado Public Libraries. Denver, CO: Library Research Service. Retrieved from

Martinez, G. (2005). Libraries, families and schools—Partnership to achieve reading readiness: A multiple case study of Maryland public librarians. (Doctor of Education Dissertation). Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University.

Marshall, S., & Strempel, G. (2009). Children, early reading and a literate Australia: The role of Australian public libraries. Presented to the ALIA Public Libraries Summit 2009, Retrieved from

McGee, L.M., & Schickendanz, J. (2007). Repeated interactive read-alouds in preschool and kindergarten. Reading Rockets. Retrieved from

McKend, H. (2010). Early literacy storytimes for preschoolers in public libraries. Prepared for the Provincial and Territorial Public Library Council. Retrieved from

Milburn, S. (2006, February 13). Inquiry reveals phonics hangup. The Age, Retrieved from

Morrow, L.M., & Smith, J.K. (1990). The effects of group size on interactive storybook reading. Reading Research Quarterly, 25, 213-231.

Munde, G. (1997). What are you laughing at? Differences in children’s and adults’ humorous book selections for children. Children’s Literature in Education, 28(4), 219-33.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved from

State Library of Queensland Public & Indigenous Library Services (2011). Australian public libraries statistical report. Melbourne, VIC: National & State Libraries Australia. Retrieved from

Nichols, S. (2011). Young children’s literacy in the activity space of the library: A geosemiotic investigation. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 11(2), 164-89.

Nicholson, T.W., & Tunmer, W.E. (2011). Reading: The great debate. In C.M. Rubie-Davies (Ed.), Educational psychology: concepts, research and challenges (pp.36-50). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

North, S. (2000). Establishing the foundation of literacy for preschool children: The role of the young peoples services librarian. Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 13(2), 52-8.

Ortiz, C., Stowe, R.M., & Arnold, D.H. (2001). Parental influence on child interest in shared picture book reading. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 16, 263-81.

Purcell-Gates, V., McIntyre, E., & Freppon, P.A. (1995). Learning written storybook language in school: A comparison of low-SES children in skills-based and whole language classrooms. American Educational Research Journal, 32, 659-685.

Raban, B., & Nolan, A. (2005). Reading practices experienced by preschool children in areas of disadvantage. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 3(3), 289-98.

Reif, K. (2000). Are public libraries the preschooler’s door to learning?. Public Libraries, 39(5), 262-65 & 268.

Robbins, C., & Ehri, L.C. (1994). Reading storybooks to kindergartners helps them learn new vocabulary words. Journal of Educational Psychology, 86, 54-64.

Rose, J. (2006). Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading: Final Report. Cheshire, UK: Department for Education and Skills. Retrieved from

Rosenthal, I. (2004). Leave no library behind: A proposal to “Leave No Library Behind” in the “No Child Left Behind” campaign. Interface, 26(4). Retrieved from

Scarborough, H.S., & Dobrich, W., (1994). On the efficacy of reading to preschoolers. Developmental Review, 14, 245-302.

Scheppke, J. (2007). Kids first: How public libraries can survive and thrive in the 21st century. The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, 7(3), 35-40.

Sherman, G.W. (1998). How one library solved the overcrowded storytime problem.  School Library Journal, 44(11), 36-38.

State Library of Victoria & Library Board of Victoria (2004). Report two: Logging the benefits. Libraries building communities: The vital contribution of Victoria’s public libraries. Melbourne, VIC: State Library of Victoria.

Stuart, M. (1999). Getting ready for reading: Early phoneme awareness and phonics
teaching improves reading and spelling in inner-city second language learners. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 69, 587-605.

Sulzby, E., & Teale, W. (1991). Emergent literacy. In R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, P. B. Mosenthal, & P. D. Pearson (Eds.), Handbook of reading research: Volume II (pp. 727–757). New York: Longman.

Sumbler, K., & Willows, D. (1996). Phonological awareness and alphabetic coding
instruction within balanced senior kindergartens. Paper presented as part of the
symposium Systematic Phonics within a Balanced Literacy Program. National Reading Conference, Charleston, SC, December.

Teale, W.H. (1999). Libraries promote early literacy learning: Ideas from current research and early childhood programs. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, 12(3), 9-16.

Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development (n.d.). Annual survey of public library services in Victoria 2009-2010: Part 2. Local Government Victoria. Retrieved from

Walter, V.A. (2003). Public library service to children and teens: A research agenda. Library Trends, 51(4), 571-589.

Wasik, B.A., & Bond, M.A. (2001). Beyond the pages of a book: Interactive book reading and language development in preschool classrooms. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(2), 243-250.

Watson, J. (1999). An investigation of the effects of phonics teaching on children’s progress in reading and spelling. (Doctoral dissertation). Fife, Scotland: University of St Andrews.

Whitehurst, G.J., Crone, D.A., Zevnbergen, A.A., Schultz, M.D., Velting, O.N., & Fischel, J.E. (1999). Outcomes of an emergent literacy intervention from Head Start through second grade. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 261-272.