The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to examine the influence of a book distribution program targeted at enhancing children’s exposure to information books. The research examined whether a flood of information books in early childhood settings, placing libraries in a central role, could affect growth in language, content related vocabulary, and concepts of comprehending information text. Fifteen childcare centers in a high-poverty urban area participated in the project (N = 501): 5 centers with libraries that were infused with information books and a monthly distribution program, 5 centers with libraries but no additional supports, and 5 “business as usual” centers. Multilevel modeling and analyses of covariance indicated that although the centers might have benefited from greater access to these resources, there were no significant effects on children’s outcomes. Findings suggest that both the theoretical and practical applications of book distribution programs need to be reevaluated if we are to improve child outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas