Books in Motion: How a Community Literacy Project Impacts its Participants

Molly Ness


The purpose of this study was to explore the impact that a community literacy project had on the reading habits of young children and their families. This year-long study focuses on a public library-run program titled Books in Motion, in which community members read children’s chapter book and meet monthly to watch the book’s film translation. Using a case study approach in which I followed six groups of participants over several months, data sources included small-group structured interviews, individual open-ended interviews, written surveys, and field notes and a reflective journal from monthly film nights.   The constant comparative model yielded three major themes, including the following (1) Books in Motion impacted community literacy interactions, (2) the program motivated participants in innovative ways, and (3) the program offered participants new literacy resources. Thus, children’s reading continues in engaging and creative formats through programs like Books in Motion. As public libraries seek to influence children’s reading today, Books in Motion exemplifies how diverse community members can benefit from a low-cost community literacy program.

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.