University of Kentucky (University of Kentucky School of Information Science)

Log Number: LG-250035-OLS-21

The University of Kentucky, in partnership with the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy, will investigate the school readiness supports within public library virtual storytime programs (VSTs) as well as the needs and expectations of stakeholder groups in relation to VSTs. With the switch to virtual storytime programs during the COVID pandemic, this research is timely. The research will answer the following questions here: (1) How do public library virtual storytime programs meet the needs of all young children and their caregivers? (2) How are VST programs designed to support all children and their caregivers? (3) What is the value of VST programs, and what resources and supports are necessary for those values to be realized? Working with state library agencies and association advisors, the project will enroll participants from 27 public libraries in all nine U.S. regions. The research will result in a set of guidelines with detailed information about how to initiate and plan a VST program, acquire associated resources and technologies, collaborate with other personnel or units, facilitate interactions with children, and evaluate the success of programs. The guidelines will be beneficial, adaptable, and scalable to all different sizes of libraries, and can serve as a useful resource for libraries to train and upskill librarians using latest technologies.
Project Proposals