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ERIC Number: ED567202
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
A Collaborative Inquiry into Museum and Library Early Learning Services
Sirinides, Phil; Fink, Ryan; DuBois, Tesla
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
As states, cities, and communities take a more active role in ensuring that all children have access to high quality experiences and opportunities to learn, many are looking to museums and libraries as part of the early childhood education system. Museums and libraries can play a critical role in these efforts, and there is clear momentum and infrastructure already in place to help make this happen. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and City of Philadelphia have begun a new initiative to engage and coordinate with museums and libraries to provide early learning services. In support of this new effort, an inquiry process was established for collecting, organizing, and communicating evidence on the availability and accessibility of early childhood programming in museums and libraries. This paper presents details of the inquiry along with findings that have already been presented to local leaders in Philadelphia, and are now being used to plan and expand services for young children. This study was an empirical investigation designed to generate preliminary objective evidence to inform policymakers and the public about available services for young children, and the factors that influence families' decisions of whether or not to utilize available programs. The study answers the following research questions: (1) To what extent are there programs for young children in Philadelphia's museums and libraries? What is the nature and type of the programming that currently exists?; (2) What barriers do museums and libraries face in designing and implementing more programming for young children?; (3) What partnerships and other resources exist within the city that might be used to leverage support for more museums and libraries to offer programming for young children?; and (4) What are the experiences of families in under resourced neighborhoods in accessing programming for young children in museums and libraries? This descriptive study employed mixed methods, including secondary data analysis, interviews, surveys, and focus groups. Several takeaways were identified through the data discovery process related to the availability and quality of information about early childhood programming in museums and libraries. First, there is a general lack of data related to the availability and accessibility of early childhood programming in libraries and museums. Second, museums and libraries lack coherence and consistency in their operating procedures and management capacities. Finally, considering the current lack of data and a lack of infrastructure to collect consistent data across sectors, there will also be challenges for effective data use in local and state decision-making. Implications of each are discussed, with recommendations for improving availability and access of information. Fixed-Choice Survey Item Responses are appended.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)