Getting Books in Children’s Hands: Creating a Citywide Book Distribution Policy Using a Mixed-Methods Geospatial Approach

Susan B. Neuman, Donna Celano, Maya Portillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recognizing the academic benefits of access to print for young children, book distribution programs abound in the United States. Designed to promote book ownership for low-income families, programs have unique delivery systems, leading to a largely fragmented policy. This article describes an urban city’s effort to build a coordinated book distribution program. Phase 1 examines the extent of book distributions, integrating data from 74 organizations and their branches (297). Using geographic information systems, we determined the spatialized patterns of scarcity and/or opportunity and the alignment between the intended and actual audience. In Phase 2, we conducted nine focus groups from neighborhoods receiving these book distributions. Results highlight the complexities of a well-intentioned policy and how multiple methods might inform policymaking in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • book distribution
  • early literacy
  • geographic information systems
  • GIS
  • home learning environment
  • policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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