This article reports on an empirical study of children's librarians' activities supporting the development of literacy among very young children. The theoretical framework stems primarily from a LIS practice-theoretical perspective where literacy is viewed as corporeal practice. The empirical material consists of a transcript from one focus-group interview with seven children's librarians, and field notes from a series of seven documented observations of program sessions at three public libraries in Sweden. A qualitative content analysis was undertaken, and the empirical material was interpreted with an analytical focus on the concepts of literacy activities, embodiment, and literacy practices. The study shows how bodies act as sites of information and communication. Not only the bodies of the librarians but also the bodies of parents and the children acted as central sites, affecting literacy practices during library programs. The librarians express that their engagement in professional practice has resulted in a certain bodily sense for finding the right level of communicating with babies. The librarians have also learned to trust this embodied judgement as part of their professional expertise.


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pp. 422-441
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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