Library and school partnership on the move - a study of second language learners’ early literacy development

Ulla Damber 1
  • 1 Umeå University, Sweden


A study of eight multicultural suburban Swedish classes forms the backdrop of an analysis of the role of the library in students’ development towards becoming skilled readers. In-depth interviews with five teachers and one librarian involved in the classes provide empirical data, even though background information was collected with mixed research methods. The librarian’s narrative is the primary source of data in this article. The children′s educational trajectory from the preschool class to third grade is in focus. The present meta-analysis highlights the role of the library and the librarian, with respect to linkages made to the children’s overall literacy development. As a tool for analysis critical literacy theory was used, thus extending the influence of the librarian′s participation beyond the actual literacy practice, to the surrounding society. The results indicate that the library played a vital role in several ways, for teachers and students as well as for the parents. The collaboration between the librarian and the teachers started with the librarian having book talks with the children. However, she became a participant in the team’s planning and follow-up activities, linking the worlds in and out of school.

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