Services for Preschool Children in School Libraries: A Call to Action


  • Maria Cahill
  • Bobbie Sartin Long
  • Denice Adkins



children with disabilities, school libraries, school librarians


The quality of learning environments and interactions in the first years of life set the stage for school success and have lasting impacts on mental and physical health and wellbeing across the lifespan, and even life expectancy (Wong, Odom, Hume, Cox, Fettig, et al, 2014; Reynolds et al., 2011). Libraries are positioned to provide rich learning opportunities for young children and their caregivers (Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2013, 2015; Urban Libraries Council, 2007). Library programs for young children, offered in nearly all public libraries in the United States support school readiness and educate parents about meaningful ways to interact with their children (Becker, 2012; Burger & Landerholm, 1991; Cahill, Joo, & Campana, 2019; Campana et al., 2016; de Vries, 2008; McKechnie, 2006; Mills et al., 2018; Smardo, 1984; Williams, 1998), but it is unclear what, if any, programs are offered for young children and their families through school libraries.