Public Libraries: A Vital Space for Family Engagement

Libraries are building a foundation for family engagement by supporting families to promote their children’s lifelong learning. Beginning in the early years, public library services support and enhance family well-being and guide children’s development in ways that extend well beyond early literacy.

The Harvard Family Research Project surveyed public library leaders from around the country about their family engagement practices, convened a learning community of librarians, conducted interviews with librarians, and reviewed research to closely study family engagement practices in public libraries. From this research emerged five promising ways that libraries engage families in children’s learning from early childhood and throughout the school years.

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