Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

English in Education


Taylor & Francis Group


School of Education




This work was supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund [Grant number CF Oct 2017 003].


Merga, M. K. (2019). How do librarians in schools support struggling readers?. English in Education, 53(2), 145–160. Available here


While librarians in schools often face significant budgetary cuts, they can play an important role in supporting learning in literacy and literature. However, little is known about the practices that they may employ to this end. Of particular interest is the role of librarians in schools in supporting struggling readers, as these students may be increasingly disadvantaged as they move through the years of schooling. Semi-structured interview data were collected from teacher librarians at 30 schools and analysed to identify practices exercised by teacher librarians that aligned with extant research around supporting struggling readers. Teacher librarians provided support by identifying struggling readers, providing them with age and skill-appropriate materials, undertaking skill scaffolding supporting choice, supporting students with special needs, providing one-to-one matching, promoting access to books, enhancing the social position of books and reading, reading aloud to students, facilitating silent reading, and preparing students for high-stakes literacy testing.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Research Themes

Society and Culture

Priority Areas

Individual, economic, organisational, political and social transformation