A new report, Public Libraries: A Vital Space for Family Engagement, released by Harvard Family Research Project and the Public Library Association, issues a call to action for libraries to strengthen their efforts to engage families in children’s learning. This report highlights five promising ways that libraries engage families in children’s learning from early childhood and throughout the school years.
- Reach Out: Libraries reach out to families to promote the programs, collections, and services that are vital in a knowledge economy.
- Raise Up: Libraries elevate family views and voices in how library programs and services are developed and carried out.
- Reinforce: Libraries guide and model the specific actions that family members can take to support learning, reaffirming families’ important roles and strengthening feelings of efficacy.
- Relate: Libraries offer opportunities for families to build peer-to-peer relationships, social networks and parent-child relationships.
- Reimagine: Libraries are expanding their community partnerships; combining resources and extending their range; improving children’s and families’ well-being; and linking to new learning opportunities.
The report also draws attention to public library resources for building family engagement, including the people they serve, the expertise of librarians, and the place the library holds as a trusted and welcoming institution in the community. The library is a platform for children and families to use library materials for discovery, innovation, and the creation of new knowledge.
Learn more on the PLA website.