Case studies

Libraries and community organisations across Australia are working with their multicultural communities to promote literacy, digital inclusion, cultural maintenance, and community participation. Find out what others are doing, make connections – and submit your own program as a case study!

Fairfield Storytime with Dad


Fairfield City Library Service, NSW


Whitlam Library Railway Parade, Cabramatta, N.S.W 2166

Project description and objectives

Storytime with Dad is a multilingual storytime session with male storytellers using community languages, songs, games and craft to model emergent literacy practices to men and encourage them to interact positively with the children. Dads and granddads are specifically invited by their children to attend.


  • To involve community members using family languages
  • To encourage new arrivals to use the library
  • Importance of male reading role models
  • To model the importance of early literacy practices in family languages

Staffing and volunteers

Currently 3 presenters on the day of the event with 2-3 people assisting.


Uniting Care Burnside and Smith Family

Time frame


Funding sources

Smith Family and Uniting Care Burnside

Consultation strategy

The importance of fathers modeling positive reading, language and social behaviours with their children cannot be overstated. For communities where many families speak a language other than English and literacy rates are low, this is even more crucial. This project was the result of a partnership between Fairfield City Library Service, The Smith Family, Learning Links and UnitingCare Burnside through the Australian Government's Communities 4 Children program. Speech pathologists and early childhood educators from Learning Links worked with male staff from the Library and UnitingCare Burnside to develop a storytime program where men read stories, sing songs and do craft activities with children in their community languages. Dads and granddads receive special invitations from their children to attend the events. Now that the program is established Learning Links has left the partnership.

Resources used


• Staffing by Fairfield City Libray service and UnitingCare Burnside

• Giveaways organised by UnitingCare Burnside

• Funding from The Smith Family C4C program (FaCSIA)


• Fliers in community languages

• Personal invitations from children

• Networks

• Local paper

• Council's "What's On" guide

• Website

• Multiscreens

• Intranet


Storytime with Dad encourages dads and granddads to read, tell stories and play with their children using their family language. It provides a fantastic opportunity for Dads to spend time with their children whilst sharing books, learning and having fun. The program helps Dads bond with their children, aids language development, vocabulary learning and helps young children understand feelings and helps develop skills needed for starting school such as telling stories.

New library memberships are generated for newcomers

Materials from the library are borrowed on the day

Contact Name

Manjit Uppal


Children’s & Youth Librarian



02 9725 0330

Useful tips

What helped to make it work? What issues needed to be addressed?

Having male role models deliver the program, and re-enforcing the value of reading with your child.

Issues to be addressed – the program used to be run on a weekday when most fathers were at work, although we did have some that took time off to attend. By moving the event to a weekend we opened it up to a larger participation by fathers and grandfathers.