Research Roundup: The Evolution of Preschool Storytime Research

Betsy Diamant-Cohen, Annette Y. Goldsmith


Since most children’s librarians regularly present preschool storytimes, here’s a look at some of the research on the topic and how it has developed over time.

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Virginia A. Walter, Output Measures For Public Library Service to Children: A Manual of Standardized Procedures (Chicago: ALA, 1992).

Frances Smardo Dowd, “Evaluating the Impact of Public Library Storytime Programs Upon the Emergent Literacy of Preschoolers: A Call for Research,” Public Libraries 3, no. 6 (1997): 348–51.

Virginia A. Walter, “Public Library Service to Children and Teens: A Research Agenda,” Library Trends 51, no. 4 (2003): 571–89.

Lynne McKechnie, “Ethnographic Observation of Preschool Children,” Library & Information Science Research 22, no. 1 (2000): 61–76,

Lynne McKechnie, “Observations of Babies and Toddlers in Library Settings,” Library Trends 55, no. 1 (2006): 190–201.

Eliza T. Dresang, Melissa Gross, and Leslie Edmonds Holt, Dynamic Youth Services Through Outcome-Based Planning and Evaluation (Chicago: ALA Editions, 2006).

Ellen Fader, “How Storytimes for Preschool Children Can Incorporate Research,” OLA Quarterly 8, no. 3 (2014): 14, 19.

Kathleen A. Paciga et al., “Student Engagement in Classroom Read-Alouds: Considering Seating and Timing,” Illinois Reading Council Journal 43, no. 3 (2015): 7–14.

John S. Hutton et al., “Home Reading Environment and Brain Activation in Preschool Children Listening to Stories,” Pediatrics 136, no. 3 (2015): 466–78.

Lauren Collen, “The Digital and Traditional Storytimes Research Project: Using Digitized Books for Preschool Group Storytimes,” World Libraries 17, no. 1 (2007),

Kathleen Campana, J. Elizabeth Mills, and Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting, Supercharged Storytimes: An Early Literacy Planning and Assessment Guide (Chicago: ALA Editions, 2016).



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