Library rhyme times and maternal mental health: results of an action research project

“This project was a collaboration between Essex Libraries and Shared Intelligence, with funding provided by Arts Council England. It was designed as an action research project to explore how library-based early years activities, specifically ones involving rhyme and story times, could help improve the mental health of mothers of pre-school aged children.” [p7]

Findings included:

“Looking at ‘impact’ we found attendance at the modified rhyme times had a positive effect on the mood and mental well-being of mothers both immediately and over a longer period of weeks and months. Mothers told us this was due to being in a group, the warm welcome, singing and reading,

and seeing their child interact and develop. For many, simply getting to the rhyme time brought structure to the day, sense of achievement, and half an hour of respite. One of the starkest findings was the increase in the proportion of mothers saying they felt ‘happy’, or ‘very happy’ on leaving a session compared to when they arrived.” [p6]

Charlotte Boulton et alLibrary rhyme times and maternal mental health: results of an action research project. Shared Intelligence, 2018

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