Australian Library and Information Association Ltd
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education / Centre for Research in Early Childhood
Since 2005, Better Beginnings, an early intervention, statewide family literacy programme developed by The State Library of Western Australia, has provided thousands of families with strategies and resources to promote and support book-sharing from birth. This paper reports on the key findings of an independent longitudinal evaluation of the programme's impact on parents / carers approximately one year after they were introduced to the Better Beginnings programme. Parents/carers were asked about their book sharing practices, beliefs about the importance of sharing books, and library membership and participation in related library activities. Responses from the participants strongly indicated that the programme was well received and had a significantly positive impact on the child, other family members and the participants. The evaluation also raised a number of issues, which have implications for further development of the programme.