Preschools and public libraries are natural partners in that they share similarities in their support for early learning and family engagement for the young children and families in their communities. Because of this, public libraries often partner with preschools to offer rotating book collections and storytimes to increase book access and literacy skills for the young children who attend the preschool. However, libraries and preschools could be expanding their partnerships beyond these two services to have a greater impact for the preschool children and families, but both organizations typically struggle to find the time and space to work on deepening the partnership. This study worked to cultivate and deepen a library-preschool partnership by offering two workshops for the library and preschool staffs to provide them with time to build a community and develop ideas for working together to support the preschool children and families. Ultimately, these workshops were successful in deepening the library-preschool partnership and helping to enhance the preschool’s early learning environment and increase whole family engagement for the preschool families.
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This project was generously funded through two grants: a federal IMLS LSTA grant awarded by the State Library of Ohio and another from the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University. We would like to thank both organizations for their support. In addition, we would like to thank the administration and staff from Cuyahoga County Public Library and The Centers Preschool for their enthusiastic support and participation in this project. We would also like to thank Kent State University for waiving indirect costs to allow the full grant funds to be applied towards helping these organizations provide increased support for the children and families in their care.
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Campana, K., Martens, M., Filippi, A. et al. A “Library School:” Building a Collaborative Preschool-Library Partnership to Support Whole Family Engagement. Early Childhood Educ J 50, 71–82 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-020-01127-4