Large, Andrew, et al. "Developing a Visual Taxonomy: Children's Views on Aesthetics" JASIST 60(9): 2009, pp. 1808-1822.
Bring together visualization and usability testing/design, with seven 6th grade young people as collaborators. Includes children's prototype drawings of taxonomies, and uses them to suggest six aesthetic characteristics that should characterize such browsing interfaces for children, including "maplike metaphor." They come up with six aesthetic dimensions (from earlier work by Ngo et al. 2003) that are important to consider in children's taxonomies. It's a bit tough to see the connections from the children's drawings to the aesthetic measures, but it makes for a provocative piece.
By: Adomat, Donna Sayers. Children's Literature in Education, Sep2010, Vol. 41 Issue 3, p207-221, 15p; DOI: 10.1007/s10583-010-9105-0
This is a qualitative study of young readers' responses to picturebooks. Uses five kinds of responses, a framework developed in a previous study:
"Sipe (2008) developed ﬁve types of responses that are indicative of ﬁve facets of literary understanding. In summary: (1) Analytical responses include discussions of narrative elements, such as plot, setting, characters, theme, style, and use of illustrations; (2) Intertextual responses are the links children make to other books or texts, broadly deﬁned; (3) Personal responses involve connections children make to their own lives or the experiences of others; (4) Transparent responses indicate a deep involvement with the story world; and (5) Performative responses show that children are ‘‘manipulating the story for their own creative purposes’’ (p. 183)."
The teacher read the story and encouraged participation throughout, and the article focuses on one child's responses, including vocalizations, physical responses, and responses that took on acting out the character's perspective. Recommended to anyone who wants to see an updated version of The Braid of Literature. Fun to read!
"Studying" and "Making Sense Of" Tweens
"Making Sense of An Information World: The Everyday-Life Information Behavior of Pre-Teens" by Eric Meyers et al. in Library Quarterly 79: 3, 301-341.
"Studying the everyday information behavior of tweens: Notes from the field" by the same team: Eric M. Meyers, Karen E. Fisher, Elizabeth Marcoux, in Library & Information Science Research 29 (2007) 310–33, doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2007.04.011.
These two articles by Meyers et al. describe the same project, so I'm blogging them together. Perhaps the most interesting part in both, but especially in the L&ISR piece is the "play-date" format of the data collection time, a "five hour research 'play date' combining social interaction, creative play, and multiple data collection methods" with the hopes of doing research with youth, holding a central service philosophy. They blended focus groups with other activities to structure a fun and stimulating session, and it sounds like it worked. They used three locations: a university, a church, and a school (why not a public library?). The bulk of the LQ paper, appropriately, is devoted to qualitative findings, written in accessible and descriptive form. Ending with a section on "Applicability of the Research to Practice: A Guiding Framework" is very smart, and while the general LQ audience may skim, I'm glad to see a focus on practitioners in this level of research. This is NSF funded research, and the lit review places it squarely in LIS, which makes this an inspiring set of articles that I'm sharing with doctoral students as I type.
Hughes-Hassell, Sandra et al. "Through Their Eyes: The Development of Self-Concept in Yount African American Children through Board Books" in Children and Libraries 9:2, p. 36
This is a call for real representation and cultural relevance in board books, with an exceedingly valuable list of good board books to promote and purchase (pp. 40-41). A few sample authors/titles: Asim Girl of Mine, Baicker I Can Do It Too!, Hudson Good Morning, Baby, Pinkney, Shake Shake Shake and many more.
Roman, Susan and Carole D. Fiore "Do Public Library Summer Reading Programs Close the Achievement Gap?" in Children and Libraries 8: 3, p. 27.
In short, yes, but there's more work to do. Study relies heavily on librarians and teachers, with just one survey for student input, but has the advantage of a timespan of over a year. But the findings are positive, and the ending call to action is about publicizing these findings and doing more outreach to populations not as well served by public libraries.
Prendergast, Tess, "Beyond Storytime: Children's Librarians Collaborating in Communities" Children and Libraries 9:1, p. 20
Describes a Vancouver based program in which librarians go to a variety of sites and serve children at those family service agencies, from specific language groups to addiction recovery and other service sites. Qualitative evidence of efficacy is given in parents' own words.
Rothbauer, Pauletter. "Exploring the Placelessness of Reading Among Older Teens in a Canadian Rural Municipality." Library Quarterly 79:4, p. 465
Explores "role of reading and libraries" in lives of older teens, with a focus on a particular rural geography. Based on interviews with 27 young people, and quotes are sprinkled throughout. Found libraries to be lacking for older teens, defined by what they offered them as younger children. Discovered large impact of spatial factors: proximity of reading selections, internet as default reading, public library as childhood space (not for them), lack of time for reading. "Nonactive teen readers" pose a host of challenges to rural public libraries, and only some of them are listed here.