Extratextual talk in public library storytime programs: A focus on questions

Maria Cahill, Erin Ingram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Shared book reading in which children actively participate in the reading of a text via discussion or extratextual talk has been well-established as an activity to advance children’s literacy and language learning, and it is a characteristic practice of public library storytime programs. This study scrutinized the extratextual talk that occurred within the shared reading episodes of 15 public library storytime programs. Findings from this study confirm prior assertions that storytime programs hold the promise of advancing children’s early literacy development. With more than two-fifths of librarians’ extratextual utterances at an abstract level of understanding, storytimes serve as a favorable setting for advancing children’s inferencing skills and symbolic understanding. Results also point to areas that librarians might target for improvement including integration of questions requiring extended responses and attention to vocabulary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-509
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under grant number: LG-96-17-0199-17.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • early childhood
  • early literacy
  • informal learning
  • libraries
  • shared reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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