Supporting School Readiness Through Librarian-Child Interactions in Public Library Storytimes: An Analysis of Assessment Scores and Influential Factors

Maria Cahill, Hayley Hoffman, Erin Ingram, Soohyung Joo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A recent trend in public libraries′ children’s services emphasizes the role of promoting school readiness. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the school readiness efforts present in storytime programs, this study observed and scored 68 public library preschool storytime sessions presented by 35 storytime providers across three states using the CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) measure. The CLASS evaluates adult-child interactions in learning environments within three domains related to positive outcomes in children’s school readiness: emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support. Additionally, the study examined whether differences among CLASS scores were influenced by the population density of the library community, the storytime provider’s degree status and educational level, the provider’s prior teaching experience, the provider’s years of experience in children’s services, and the number of children participating in the storytime session. Results revealed that storytime providers score well in the CLASS’s emotional support and classroom organization dimensions but have room for improvement in the content-focused instructional support domain. Of the factors examined, only years of experience in children’s services was found to influence a provider’s CLASS score. These findings suggest that professional development programs should focus on preparing librarians to teach and model school readiness skills during storytime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We express sincere gratitude to Mary Howard, University of Kentucky Human Development Institute, for her contributions to this study and to Janet Ingraham Dwyer, State Library of Ohio; Krista King-Oaks, Boone County (KY) Public Library, and Suzanne Walker and Beth Yates, Indiana State Library for support of this project.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [Federal Award Identification Number: LG-96-17-0199-17]. Acknowledgments

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature B.V.


  • Adult-child interactions
  • Public libraries
  • School readiness
  • Storytimes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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