Early literacy project

The State Library of New South Wales 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 included:

smiling librarian reading a story book to a group of small children

Storytime at Blacktown City Libraries

  • 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 were 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.  


Go to Toolkit - Early language and literacy in NSW public libraries


Project documentation