Identifying key factors in library-school partnerships to deliver a family literacy programme in Western Australia

Author Identifier

Caroline Barratt-Pugh

ORCID : 0000-0002-1470-0089

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title



De Gruyter


School of Education




Barratt-Pugh, C., Sparrow, H., & Allen, N. (2021). Identifying key factors in library-school partnerships to deliver a family literacy programme in Western Australia. Libri, 71(4). https://doi.org/10.1515/libri-2020-0091


Research indicates that partnerships between libraries and schools have potential to enhance early literacy. However, few studies have investigated the nature and outcomes of such collaborations. This paper reports on the findings from a qualitative study of a partnership between librarians and kindergarten teachers to implement a family literacy programme, developed by the State Library of Western Australia. The programme aims to facilitate connections between libraries, families and schools, to support early literacy. Using an interpretive paradigm, interviews were undertaken with 38 participants including State, branch, local and school librarians, kindergarten teachers and school principals in seven schools, to explore the effectiveness of the partnership model. The partnerships were highly valued, and participants reported confidence in the success of the co-operative model of programme delivery. However, there was little evidence of deep engagement across service sectors or sharing of expertise and resources. Four key factors that influenced the development and sustainability of partnerships are identified and discussed. Implications of the research are identified, which include the development of a library-school partnership framework and a literacy-text messaging programme. We conclude by suggesting that the partnership model could be replicated across other countries, maximising opportunities for cost efficiency while supporting better outcomes for families and children.



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Research Themes

Society and Culture

Priority Areas

Diverse, equitable, informed and productive communities, schools and workplaces