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Early literacy project

The State Library of New South Wales has established a research partnership with the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University with the key aim of supporting public libraries in NSW to be recognised for the early literacy services offered.  

The project includes:

  • a survey of all NSW public libraries about the types and structure of early literacy programs they offer (from birth to 5 years)
  • a comprehensive review of research on early literacy development and practices in diverse homes and communities and associated later literacy outcomes
  • close observation and analysis of early literacy programs at 24 NSW public libraries representing the variety of programs and library settings across the state

The findings will be used to build a context-sensitive framework that includes: 

  • a set of core literacy competencies that all young children should be given opportunities to develop prior to school, which NSW public libraries can use to benchmark their early literacy programs 
  • professional development materials for library staff involved in the design of early literacy programs
  • guidelines for developing effective early literacy programs across different public library settings in NSW that identify the key elements of such programs, supported by examples of programs designed following these guidelines.    

The following infographic compiled by Natalie Papaellinas, Research Intern Macquarie University provides a useful summary of the project:

Stage one

Report on survey of NSW public library staff involved in early literacy initiatives

PDF iconSurvey - supporting early literacy in NSW public libraries

A comprehensive review of research on early literacy practices and development in diverse homes and communities and associated literacy outcomes to identify

  • the prior-to-school literacy competencies and contextual factors (e.g. parental attitudes, socio-cultural and economic background) related to success at school and beyond

  • specific practices that support the development of these competencies

The research review is now available PDF iconEarly language and literacy: Review of research with implications for early literacy programs at NSW public libraries

If you have any questions about this project please contact Mylee Joseph.