The Impact of School Library Design on the Development of Multiple Literacy Skills in Early Childhood Students

Anna Carello, University of Pennsylvania


The role of school libraries in both public and private school systems has changed dramatically over the last two decades as the Internet and ubiquity of digital devices has made the world accessible within seconds just by the tap of a finger on a touchscreen or keyboard. The purpose of the school library as a functional educational space has traditionally been one that promotes information literacy, reading for information, and reading for pleasure with paper books. In today’s ever increasingly digital world, however, well-resourced libraries are exchanging paper books and reference sets for e-books and subscriptions to online services that store information in virtual clouds rather than on bookshelves. Moreover, their coveted spaces are sometimes transformed into tactile learning spaces inspired by the recent Maker Movement. This qualitative research study examines the functional role of the school libraries in four independent schools, an inquiry seeking to better understand how young students use libraries to develop multiple literacies—digital, informational, tactile, and printed—all of which are necessitated by the growing prevalence of electronic resources and technology in schools. How should well-resourced school libraries today, historically bound to paper collections and archives, design learning spaces and allocate resources to support a generation of students born into the digital age? It is the intersection of these two points, students born into a world dominated by technology and traditional school libraries dominated by paper resources, that the current role and purpose of school libraries is examined.

Subject Area

Library science|Educational leadership|Early childhood education

Recommended Citation

Carello, Anna, "The Impact of School Library Design on the Development of Multiple Literacy Skills in Early Childhood Students" (2017). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI10265345.