Early language and literacy in NSW public libraries

Welcome to the online tool kit for the Early language and literacy in NSW public libraries framework.

Preschool storytimes are a popular library program for children and their families.  Early learning in libraries encompasses the children and their parents and caregivers across some key stages of development:

  • early talkers (birth to approximately 18 months)
  • talkers (approximately 18 months to three years)
  • pre-readers (approximately ages three to five years)

The tool kit contains helpful tips, guidelines and templates that can be downloaded.

Introduction to early language and literacy

Man and child reading a picture book together in a library

Principles for supporting early literacy

This section outlines the key principles for supporting early language and literacy learning that underpin the framework.

Female toddler reading a picture book

Early language and literacy domains

This section presents language and literacy objectives for children’s learning and corresponding strategies that library staff as educators can use to support this learning. 

Group of children laying on their backs and smiling at camera

Identifying your community needs

This section provides resources to assist library staff to source and reflect on information about the community that their library serves.

Planning effective storytime sessions

This section aims to assist library staff in planning effective storytime sessions.

When planning your storytime, remember to always keep the big picture goals in mind: sharing the enjoyment of books and reading with the children, exposing them to a wide variety of high quality books, and sharing ways to support children’s early literacy with adults.

Person passing a book to a parent holding a baby in a library


The Early language and literacy in NSW public libraries: Framework for developing and evaluating early literacy sessions provides guidance for public library staff to ensure these sessions optimise their early literacy and early learning impact. 

The NSW state-wide research project that developed the framework was led by Dr Emilia Djonov in collaboration with Dr Jane Torr and Dr Maree Stenglin.