Rhyme time sessions, aimed at under 5s and their adult carers, take place in the majority of public libraries across the country. They typically comprise 30 minutes of singing, reading, and rhymes, often with music and toys. Content, style, and structure varies depending on the library service, and the individual rhyme time leader. Any accompanied child can turn up and join in subject only to space, and they are almost always free of charge for library members and non-members alike. In Essex, rhyme times are run across the county network of 74 public libraries, with larger libraries running several sessions each week. We estimate library-based rhyme times in Essex reach 4,000-5,000 individual mothers each year, many of whom attend throughout their children’s early years.
Over a 16-month period staff from Shared Intelligence and Essex Libraries undertook collaborative action research focused on eight libraries across the county. Our main task was to design, implement, and test a series of evidence-based ‘modifications’ to the existing rhyme time sessions. Our research questions were:
The project is now complete and the main research report, a set of shareable tools and a quick guide can be downloaded by signing up to our newsletter below.
With this pack you will have access to:
If you would like to learn more about this project or how we could help you develop something similar in your own service, firstname.lastname@example.org would love to hear from you.
This project was funded by Arts Council England.