An Investigation into the Value of Children's Reading Programmes from the Perspective of Irish Public Librarians

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Corcoran, Eimear
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MSc Information and Library Management
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this research is to investigate the value of children’s reading programmes in Irish public libraries specifically ‘Spring into Storytime’, ‘Family Time at Your Library’ and ‘Summer Stars’. This research focused in particular on the perspectives of Irish public librarians whose expertise lie within the area of children’s reading programmes. A qualitative methodology was applied focusing on semi structured interviews with this key group followed by a thematic analysis of the data acquired. This research found that Irish public librarians value the children’s reading programmes as they facilitate collaboration and outreach with primary schools and positively engage children with the library services. Even though deemed as highly valuable the research identified ways in which the value of the children’s reading programmes could be improved. These findings resulted in several recommendations which have been made. These recommendations include, a directive to be developed and implemented by the Department of Education in relation to the participation of schools in the reading programmes, the children’s reading programmes should be improved to target marginalised groups and children who may require literacy supports, the re-evaluation of the programmes to address several issues that were discovered, the adoption of a qualitative analysis of the reading programmes to compliment the quantitative measures that are already in place.