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ERIC Number: ED554762
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 279
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3030-5100-5
Libraries and Literacy in Ecological Perspective
Sensenig, Victor J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
This study investigated the nature of the literacy environment that public libraries construct and how they share the project of children's literacy development with homes and schools. It focuses on library programs for children, particularly story times. Its data came from observations of library activities, interviews with librarians and parents, and documents from four public library systems in the state of Pennsylvania. This study looks at the institution of the public library from an ecological perspective, which considers the impact on children's learning environments of people, organizations, and policies that are not in children's immediate settings. It depicts literacy as embedded in social life, not as a set of individual skills or isolated activities. Public libraries have a culture of literacy learning that values children's development of identities as readers and deeply engrained reading habits based on positive and effective early literacy experiences. Yet as public institutions they are subject to the extra-institutional forces originating in the more primary and powerful institutions, particularly home and school. Public libraries are very concerned with both "parent education" and "school readiness," but their efforts at cooperation are tempered by an ambivalence about some of the literate practices of home and school. Librarians aspired to educate parents, but they also perceived some authoritarianism in certain parenting practices. A shift in attention to parents in public library programming, despite their vital influence on children's learning and growth, may also undermine the library's attempts to level the literacy playing field. Libraries cooperate with schools and prioritize young children's school readiness, but they also emphasize their institutional distinctiveness. Public libraries have incorporated components of the standardsbased reform paradigm and this constitutes the most substantial institutional influence on the development of library's children's programs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania