Public Libraries as Supportive Environments for Children’s Development of Critical Health Literacy

Journal article


Jenkins, C. L., Sykes, S. and Wills, J. (2022). Public Libraries as Supportive Environments for Children’s Development of Critical Health Literacy. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 19 (19). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191911896
AuthorsJenkins, C. L., Sykes, S. and Wills, J.
Abstract

Critical health literacy enables individuals to use cognitive and social resources for informed action on the wider determinants of health. Promoting critical health literacy early in the life-course may contribute to improved health outcomes in the long term, but children’s opportunities to develop critical health literacy are limited and tend to be school-based. This study applies a settings-based approach to analyse the potential of public libraries in England to be supportive environments for children’s development of critical health literacy. The study adopted institutional ethnography as a framework to explore the public library as an everyday setting for children. A children’s advisory group informed the study design. Thirteen children and 19 public library staff and community stakeholders were interviewed. The study results indicated that the public library was not seen by children, staff, or community stakeholders as a setting for health. Its policies and structure purport to develop health literacy, but the political nature of critical health literacy was seen as outside its remit. A supersetting approach in which children’s everyday settings work together is proposed and a conceptual model of the public library role is presented.

Keywordshealth literacy; children’s health literacy; critical health literacy; public libraries; settings-based approach; supersetting approach; supportive environments for health; social practice
Year2022
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Journal citation19 (19)
PublisherMDPI
ISSN1660-4601
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191911896
Web address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/19/11896
Publication dates
Print20 Sep 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Sep 2022
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Open
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