Reference Services and Library Collections for the Youngest: What Can Be Learned from the Linguistic Theories and Research

Ivana Martinović, Ivanka Stričević


Vocabulary acquisition is one of the most important areas of child’s language development, since it is vocabulary, in particular its size and diversity, that grammar and syntax acquisition depends on. A significant portion of vocabulary is acquired through interaction in a motivating family environment which includes reading materials as well as people who read to children. The role of reference services in library is to provide the appropriate picture book to parents and children. The adequate picture book corresponds to child's developmental stage, as well as to the language and lexical development stage as grammar and syntax development depend on vocabulary. This paper gives some answers whether the picture books which children’s librarians in Croatian children's libraries recommend to parents are adjusted to the child development and whether children’s librarians are competent enough for recommending children's literature, given the fact that reference service librarians should possess some linguistic legitimacies. They are necessary no matter of the form of book they recommend to parents and to the child. The results on the research of competencies of children's librarians indicate that most of librarians do not acquire a required knowledge and do not posses skills needed for recommendation of picture books. The results point to the need of including contents from the field of child's development, linguistics and children's literature in the curricula for future children's librarians

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