Category Archives: Research

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The Doctor is IN!!!

Hello world! I started this blog at the beginning of my doctoral degree and as of today, my final revisions to my defended dissertation are done and dusted. I just have a bit of paper work to submit to graduate studies and then it is all finished, I will graduate and start my new life with the beautiful letters PhD added to my name!

I continue to work as a librarian and teach part-time. My future plans include many interesting things, but for now, I am taking a bit of a break!

I will still post things on this blog and hope you will continue reading my musings and rants.

Thanks for sticking with me!

https://goo.gl/images/EHAXRx

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Are We Inclusive?

I recently presented at the BCLA Youth Services Institute. One of the things I did was compile bunch of statements made by the parents interviewed for my dissertation study into a slide show, along with some random library and early literacy themed photos. Then I added a soundtrack. I have just posted it to Youtube if you are curious about what some parents of children with disabilities have to say about their experiences in public libraries.

Selected Publications

Here are some of my articles and chapters, some co-authored.

de Freitas, F., & Prendergast, T. (2015). Using digital media. In C. Rankin & A. Brock (Eds.), Library services from birth to five: Delivering the best start (pp. 153-167). London, UK: Facet.

Diamant-Cohen, B., Estrovitz, C., & Prendergast, T. (2013). Repeat after me! Repetition and early literacy development. Children & Libraries, 11(2), 20-24.

Diamant-Cohen, B., Prendergast, T., Estrovitz, C., Banks, C., & van der Veen, K. (2012). We play here! Bringing the power of play into children’s libraries. Children & Libraries, 10(1), 3-9.

Prendergast, T. (2011). Beyond storytime: Children’s librarians collaborating in communities. Children & Libraries, 9(1), 20-26.

Prendergast, T. (2012). Brick by brick: LEGO-inspired programs in the library. Children & Libraries, 10(3), 20-23.

Prendergast, T. (2013). Growing readers: A critical analysis of early literacy content for parents on Canadian public library websites. Journal of Library Administration, 53(4), 234-254. doi:DOI: 10.1080/01930826.2013.865389

Prendergast, T. (2015a). Children and technology: What can research tell us? In A. Koester (Ed.), Young children, new media, and libraries: A guide for incorporating new media into library collections, services, and programs for families and children ages 0-5: Little Elit. Retrieved from https://littleelit.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/final-young-children-new-media-and-libraries-full-pdf.pdf.

Prendergast, T. (2015b). Inclusive early literacy. In C. Rankin & A. Brock (Eds.), Library services from birth to five: Delivering the best start (pp. 183-197). London, UK: Facet.

Prendergast, T. (2015c). The role of new media in inclusive early literacy programs and services. In A. Koester (Ed.), Young children, new media, and libraries: A guide for incorporationg new media into library collections, services and programs for families and children ages 0-5: Little eLit. Retrieved from https://littleelit.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/final-young-children-new-media-and-libraries-full-pdf.pdf.

Prendergast, T. (2016). Seeking early literacy for all: An investigation of children’s librarians and parents of young children with disabilities’ experiences at the public library. Library Trends, 65(1), 65-91.

Prendergast, T., & Lazar, R. (2010). Language Fun Storytime: Serving children with speech and language delays. In B. Diamant-Cohen (Ed.), Children’s services: Parterships for success (pp. 17-23). Chicago: American Library Association.

Teichert, L., & Prendergast, T. (2014). Questioning the universality of storybook reading: Examining diversity in family literacy practices. Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education/Revue canadienne des jeunes chercheures en education, 5(1), 1-9.

 

Nothing quite as exciting as the display of Hogwarts material at the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, UK, but I hope you enjoy reading some of my work anyway! 

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Seeking Early Literacy for All: An Investigation of Children’s Librarians and Parents of Young Children with Disabilities’ Experiences at the Public Library

I am proud to share that I have had a paper published in Library Trends. 

Prendergast, T. (2016). Seeking Early Literacy for All: An Investigation of Children’s Librarians and Parents of Young Children with Disabilities’ Experiences at the Public Library. Library Trends, 65(1), 65-91.

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/629585

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Elusive Inclusion

Hello!

My Australian colleague and friend Jo Kaeding and I are sharing some insights from our similar dissertation studies at this short presentation at UBC on Monday.

Everyone is welcome!

http://lled.educ.ubc.ca/sept12inc/

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Children’s Librarians in the Lives of Children with Disabilities: A Bio-ecological Perspective

A few months ago, I presented a poster at ALISE 2016, in Boston, MA.

Here is a summary of my poster’s content, with a link to the PDF version.

Children’s Librarians in the Lives of Children with Disabilities: A Bioecological Perspective
This poster explores the intersections of children’s librarianship and early literacy in the lives of children with disabilities. In what is referred to as his bioecological systems theory, Bronfenbrenner (1986, 2005) conceptualized a child’s development as taking place within nested systems of support. Each setting (i.e. home, preschool, library) is considered a microsystem within which the individual child interacts with objects, symbols and people in ways that advance or hinder that child’s development. Interactions between those people who surround the child constitute the mesosystem influence. To elaborate, the mesosystem may be constituted when an outside influence (such as a teacher or therapist) is exerted on a child within a specific microsystem. An example of this would be a father bringing his toddler to a storytime program and learning how to play a rhyming game with his child from a children’s librarian. The influence that the children’s librarian has had on the father (i.e. teaching him a new way to play and interact with his child in their home microsystem) constitutes the mesosystem.

 

This poster mainly explores actual examples of the children’s librarian’s mesosystem role and draws on evidence from a series of semi-structured interviews with groups of children’s librarians as well as parents of young children with disabilities. This study’s findings suggest that children’s librarians who are willing and (somewhat) able to offer responsive, inclusive services and parents who want and need such services rarely encounter each other but when they do the benefits of such interactions are obvious especially when viewed through Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological systems framework. This study suggests that librarians and their expertise in encouraging early literacy development via mesosystem interactions are under-utilized resources in the lives of families whose children have disabilities. Working with families around making accommodations to meet children’s learning needs represents a significant way that children’s librarians become part of children’s mesosystems of support and in this way provide equitable early literacy resources across diverse communities of children.

 

By considering Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological systems framework wherein children are afforded frequent and successful interactions with ‘objects, symbols and people’ in public library contexts, this study suggests that more frequent interactions around the early literacy resources of the public library could represent a positive force for individual children’s early literacy development, in much the same way as regular home reading supports early literacy growth. By the same token, fewer, or less successful interactions in the library context could inhibit literacy growth because of lost opportunities to engage with the resources that are freely available at the public library. This study concludes with a rationale for continuing to strengthen the role that children’s librarians play in the lives of all children, particularly those who may remain underserved.

Children’s Librarians in the Lives of Children with Disabilities: A Bioecological Perspective

References

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1986). Ecology of the family as a context for human development: Research perspectives. Developmental Psychology, 22(6), 723-742.

Bronfenbrenner, U. (2005). Making human beings human: bioecological perspectives on human development. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Photo credit: AdinaVoicu Pixabay.com

From Theory to Findings

I have been working on my dissertation theory section and decided to create a Prezi to help me trace my study’s theoretical underpinnings.

Here it is!

http://prezi.com/dhjfjzvb77pr/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

From Theory to Findings