Better Beginnings: Public libraries making literacy links with the adult community

Document Type

Journal Article


De Grutyer


Faculty of Education and Arts, Arts and Humanities: Reading and Language


School of Education / Centre for Research in Early Childhood




Anderson, K. L., Barblett, L. , Barratt-Pugh, C. H., Haig, Y. G., & Leitao, N. C. (2013). Better Beginnings: Public libraries making literacy links with the adult community. Libri: International Journal of Libraries and Information Services, 63(4), 272-281. Available here


The Better Beginnings READ! 3 pilot initiative, conducted through public libraries in Western Australia, sought to engage adult readers who were either emerging readers or who had 'lost the reading habit' in a three month reading challenge. The challenge involved adult readers reading three items in three months and being rewarded for their involvement through certificates and prizes. In seeking to make contact with those adult readers, it was suggested that librarians or library officers make contact with various community groups or businesses, or with adults directly. This qualitative study examined how the initiative was implemented and promoted in three libraries and identified the range of issues that had impact on its implementation. The study collected data from participants at each site in two stages: during the implementation of the initiative; and at the conclusion of the initiative. The study found that librarians and library officers either acted as drivers, themselves, or needed coordinators of community groups to act as co-drivers to enhance the implementation of the initiative. Various issues at each site affected the implementation of the initiative and a consideration of these issues enabled this study to offer recommendations for future implementation of similar initiatives.