Objective: To measure public library use in a sample of families with young children and examine associations with reading aloud.
Study design: We interviewed 200 parents of 6- to 18-month-old children visiting a hospital-based pediatric clinic. We assessed public library card ownership, public library visitation, and awareness of public library programming. We assessed reading aloud using the StimQ READ questionnaire. We used multivariable logistic and linear regression to examine associations while adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics.
Results: In multivariable analysis, parents who owned a public library card had greater odds of reading aloud daily to their 6- to 18-month-old child (aOR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.0-3.8) and higher StimQ READ scores (β = 0.9; 95% CI, 0.2-1.6). Parents who visited a public library once a month or more often had greater odds of reading aloud daily (aOR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.8-6.7) and higher StimQ READ scores (β = 1.3; 95% CI, 0.6-2.0). Parents whose 6- to 18-month-old child had ever visited a public library did not have greater odds of reading aloud daily (aOR, 1.4; 95% CI, 0.7-2.9), but did have higher StimQ read scores (β = 1.2; 95% CI, 0.4-2.0). Parents who felt informed about available public library programs for children had greater odds of reading aloud daily (aOR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.3-5.1) and higher StimQ READ scores (β = 1.1; 95% CI, 0.4-1.9).
Conclusion: In this sample of families with young children, we found positive associations between public library use and reading aloud.
Keywords: early literacy; public libraries; reading aloud.
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