Beyond the Library as Classroom: Two-Generation and Family Learning

Your Name and Title: Lorette McWilliams, Research Analyst

Library, School, or Organization Name: Harvard Family Research Project

Co-Presenter Name(s): M. Elena Lopez, Associate Director

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Librarians, Library Directors, Community Members, Families, Educators, Policy-makers, Funders

Short Session Description (one line):

Harvard Family Research Project will highlight creative ways to use library assets for family educational engagement based on the results of a 2016 national public library survey which reveals how libraries are partnering with families, children, and youth to promote and support learning anywhere, anytime.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

The library as classroom requires strong leadership, well-trained staff, and physical spaces that promote curiosity and innovation. More than that, library as classroom requires the engagement of families. Families play a big role in children’s success, through the ways that they promote children’s learning, connect children to quality learning settings, and develop relationships with practitioners. Families can be engaged in more than storytime as libraries have the potential to build pathways for learning for entire families, and create meaningful co-learning opportunities between children and their parents. 

So how can libraries open space for all families and children of all ages as part of the library classroom? And what can families learn from being engaged in the library classroom? 

In this session, Harvard Family Research Project will share the results of a recent national survey of nearly 500 urban, suburban, and rural libraries. Participants will learn how libraries are partnering with families to promote and support the learning and well-being of children and youth.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

Harvard Family Research Project website:

Harvard Family Research Project/Public Libraries Association page:



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