State Aid for Library Construction Webcast Series

Part 4: Information For Library Systems

Part 4 of the webcast series will cover the roles and responsibilities of the Public Library System related to State Aid for Library Construction.

The Public Library System has an important role in the Public Library Construction Program.  All individual public libraries must work with their appropriate library system to develop and submit online applications.

The public Library System provides Technical Assistance and program guidance to all its member libraries.

The public Library System recommends projects for funding. Applications are submitted to DLD after having been reviewed and approved by the governing board of the public library system.

The Public Library System designates a system contact who is responsible for working on the Public Library Construction Program.  This contact acts as a liaison for all their member libraries who are participating in the Program and is a key contact for the Division of Library Development.

Finally, the Library System is also eligible to be a Program Applicant. Sixty percent of a systems allocation is available solely for member library projects.  Forty percent of a systems allocation is available for use by the library system and/or its member libraries.

In order to provide technical assistance and program guidance the Public Library System must understand the laws, regulations, and program guidelines.  All of this information is available on the Division of Library Development Website at the links listed here: Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Sec 90.12; State Aid for Library Construction.

Member libraries are encouraged to talk to their system contacts at the earliest stage of project development.  Member libraries frequently have questions while filling out the online application.  For library system staff unfamiliar with the Public Library Construction Program it would be beneficial to view Part 1: Program Overview, Part 2: Completing the Online Application, Part 3: Closing a Project of this series for more information.  Also, please encourage your member libraries to view this webcast series since it provides a great deal of the basic information they need.

The Library System is responsible for a number of tasks regarding the online application including:

  • Setting the due date for their members to submit applications
  • Reviewing and editing a members application
  • Unlocking a members application
  • Completing the Public Library System Checklist
  • Filling out an evaluation Form for each member library application
  • Completing a “Reduced Match Justification” if applicable.
  • Submitting members FS-10s, Payee and w-9 Forms to NYSL Division of Library Development.
  • Setting the recommended funding amount for members
  • Submitting member applications to NYSL Division of Library Development by the appropriate deadline.

We will take a look at each of these tasks but first let’s review how to access the online system.

To access the online system go to and Type in a Username and Password and click “Sign In”.  The user name is usually firstname.lastname (with a period in between the first and last names.)

At the first login session, the system will request a change in password and ask to set up security questions.  These questions will be used in case the password is later forgotten.

Password must be at least 8 characters long; one of which must be a numeric character and cannot be the same as username or default password.

If a password is forgotten, click the link “I forgot my password” and follow the instructions.

If you are have a problem please contact to reset your password.

Use the online form available for registering for an online account if a username and password are needed.  Access this form from (This link is also available on the State Aid for Library Construction Library Development webpage) Fill in the required information and submit. A user name and password will be sent.

If you already have a user name and password and you remember it you can go ahead and login.  If you don’t remember your password or your password has expired please fill out this form and we will reset it and email it to you.   

You are now ready to access the online system.

The first step for the Library System is to Set the System Due Date that member libraries will submit their applications by.  The Library System should set the due date when the online system opens for a new cycle.  NYSL DLD will send an email to System Directors and a message will be placed on the NYLINE listserv announcing that the portal is open. To set a new due date for your member libraries click on “Due Dates” link on the top menu bar.  A table will appear that lists a row for each fiscal year, containing the PLS name, PLS due date, Library Development due date, the system’s allocation, and the system’ amount recommended so far for a given year.

Click on the “edit” link to bring up a due date record.   

Enter the due date that you want your member libraries to submit applications by.  This due date will be visible on the member’s checklist page.  The due date must be in MM/DD/YYYY format.  Click on the “save” button to save the PLS due date.

When you log into the online system you will be taken to this screen.  From here you can click on “Submitted Member Applications” and use the drop down year menu to view your member’s apps. 

A screen similar to this one will appear. From here click on an individual application and you will be taken to the Public Library System Checklist.

The checklist page for each application has links to all portions of the application, including the Application Form, Narratives, Budget, Attachments, and all Documents/Approvals that need to be attached or mailed.

Please review your member libraries application for completeness and make sure they are complying with the Program’s Law, Rules & Regs, and Guidelines.  This will expedite our review process, be less time-consuming for you, and ensure the best outcome for your member libraries.

If more direction is needed on any of these sections please review Part 2 of our webcast series: “Completing the Online Application.” 

Once a member submits an application to their PLS, the member is locked from editing the Application Form, Narratives, Budget, etc.   The PLS can edit the application for the member.  Or, the PLS can unlock the application, and allow the member to edit

To unlock an application for the member: scroll to the bottom of the application Checklist page. Click the link for ‘unlock application’. 

Note: Once the PLS submits an application to Library Development, both the member and the PLS are locked from editing the Application Form, Narratives, Budget, etc.  The PLS will no longer have the ability to unlock the application. 

The first two items on the checklist: Evaluation Form & Reduced Match Form are completed by the Library System

To edit a member’s Application Form, Narratives, Budget, Attachments, click on the appropriate link on the Checklist page. 
Remember to “save” any changes that are made.

****Also, remember that after the PLS submits a member application to Library Development, the PLS will no longer be able to edit the application.

Let’s look at Evaluation Form

The Evaluation form is completed by the Library System. The evaluation form indicates if the project will be recommended for funding and lists the amount recommended. The form also has a series of yes/no questions and textboxes for comments. Please make sure you provide adequate comments as appropriate especially. Note that #1: “How will this project assist the applicant to provide more effective service within the system’s standards of organization and service?” requires a comment.  Use the Save button at the bottom of the form to save all data entries.  The evaluation form comments will be visible to Library Development, but not visible to member libraries. 

The top of the evaluation form contains monetary figures related to the cost/recommendation amounts for this project.  The figures include the cost of the project, the amount of funds requested for the project; these amounts are automatically populated from the online application.  The maximum recommendation amount is automatically calculated. The system allocation is also listed.

Line number 5 contains the total amount of money the PLS has recommended so far (a running total of the Amount Recommended for all members for the given fiscal year).  An error message will display if the Total Recommended by System exceeds the System’s Allocation. (Note: It may become necessary to reallocate funds that are unused in that case the Total Recommended by the System may exceed the Systems original Allocation despite the warning message.)

The Library System indicates on the evaluation form if the project will be recommended for funding – yes or no.  If the project is recommended for funding the library system indicates the amount recommended.

The ‘Amount Recommended’ field is the amount the PLS recommends.  This amount cannot exceed Line 3 “Maximum Recommendation Amount”.

Once the PLS submits the member application to Library Development, the PLS will be locked out of editing the Evaluation Form and Amount Recommended

The Reduced Match Justification form is completed by library system staff. This form is required to be completed and submitted as part of the online application by library system staff for each member public library deemed eligible by the library system for a reduced match requirement below 50%. Funds for public library construction can be provided for “up to seventy-five percent of the total project approved costs for buildings of public libraries that are located in an economically disadvantaged community”, as determined by the library’s library system. Public libraries that are located in communities that are not identified by the library system as economically disadvantaged communities are eligible for a maximum of fifty percent of the total project approved costs.

he following documents are required to be electronically attached to the application:  Assurances, Certificate of Available Funds to Finance Project, Short/Full Environmental Assessment Form, Smart Growth Form, Pre-Construction Building Photographs.

The following documents must be electronically attached to the application only if the project meets the criteria given: SHPO Approval, Office of Facilities Planning Approval, Cert of 10 Year Lease.  Review the online system instructions to determine if a project requires these additional documents.

Three copies of the FS-10 Form with Original signatures in blue ink and 1 copy of the Payee Information Form with original signature in blue ink and a W-9 form must be mailed to the PLS by each applicant.  The PLS will mail the FS-10s and Payee Forms of approved projects to the NYSL Division of Library Development.

Note: Please remember to send the appropriate amount of FS-10s, Payee Forms, and w-9s for each applicant.

From the top menu bar in the Construction Reviewer module, click the link ‘Submit Reviews to LD’.

Select a Fiscal Year from the drop down list, and click View.  The table will list all member applications submitted to the PLS.

The amount requested for the project, and the maximum recommendation amount are listed.  The amount recommended for each application is copied over from the Evaluation Form.  The PLS can also edit the amount recommended on this screen.  To Save a new Recommended Amount, click the Save button at the bottom of the screen.  The calculations of the ‘Total Recommended Amt’ and the ‘Amt available to recommend’ will refresh after the Save button is clicked. 

To submit an application to Library Development, click the checkbox in the ‘Submit to LD’ column, and click the Save button.  You can submit one or multiple applications at a time.  Note: You must click the checkbox before saving; otherwise your applications will not be able to be reviewed by Library Development as required.

NOTE:  after you click the ‘Submit to LD’ checkbox, and click the Save button to save your changes, both the PLS and member will be locked out of editing the application.  The PLS cannot edit the Amount Recommended for any application submitted to LD.

The Final Report Checklist is available in “read only access” for the Public Library System.  The Final Report Checklist contains the documents that the member library must submit in order to receive their final 10% payment. 

The Public Library System is a main point of contact for both the NYSL Division of Library Development and a system’s member libraries.  DLD will contact the System with any issues or questions regarding a member’s application or project. Likewise a member library may contact the System with issues/questions. Again it is import for the Library System to be familiar with the Program law, regs, and Guidelines in order to provide member libraries with best possible guidance and information.  If a Library System is unable to provide an answer they should contact NYSL, DLD.

Thank-you for participating in this webcast and if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

NYSL Public Library Construction Program contacts are as follows: Mary Anne Waltz; Kimberly Anderson; Barbara Massago

Last Updated: February 27, 2018 -- asm