Application for Staying Connected Two Grant Program from the New York State Library
2004 Grant Application
Although the grant application was submitted in 2004, Gates funds were not awarded to the New York State Library until 2005. Grant application timelines will be adjusted accordingly, and project activities may be revised.
Training Support: The New York State Library requests a total of $294,000 to expand and enhance technology training for library staff, including programs that will prepare staff to train library users in locating, evaluating, and using digital information.
Needs of New York's Libraries
Current Needs: A primary function of the state's 23 public library systems is to provide professional development and training for member library staff and trustees. In 2003, the library systems submitted their final reports to the State Library on the 2002-03 Gates Library Training Program Grant, which identified their plans and needs for future training.
Since that time, the systems have provided the State Library with more information on their ongoing training activities through the following:
- Discussions with public library directors and staff who attended the five Gates Sustainability of Public Access Computing Seminars held in New York in May 2004
- Discussions of current training activities funded by the Training Support portion of the 2003 Staying Connected Grant Program
- Communications and meetings with the Public Library System Directors Organization (PULISDO)
The overwhelming need of the library systems in their efforts to enhance and sustain public-access computing continues to be a requirement for ongoing technology training, including training for library system staff and staff within the systems' member libraries. The following needs were common to all or nearly all the systems:
- Ongoing technology training sessions (basic through advanced), including training in applications (productivity) software, troubleshooting computers and networks (computer maintenance, hardware and software installation, security), and using Internet search engines
- Training in the use of NOVEL (New York Online Virtual Electronic Library) and the specific databases within the NOVEL collection
- Expanding the statewide corps of peer trainers in Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE) skills
- Creation of online interactive tutorials and other web-based training resources to complement and supplement those freely available on WebJunction
Problems Confronting Libraries: Although public-access computing has been greatly expanded in recent years with the help of initiatives such as the Gates State Partnership Grant Initiative, New York's cultural and geographic diversity continues to inhibit the state's ability to sustain public-access computing. The communities served by the state's public libraries range from congested urban neighborhoods with large numbers of non-English-speaking residents to small rural hamlets separated by great distances. Communities at both these extremes often experience significant levels of poverty. Many urban libraries and branches in disadvantaged neighborhoods are under-funded at the local level. Most have already experienced significant cuts in local funding and now face the possibility of further cuts. Many rural communities have small libraries with inadequate staffs and collections, or even no library at all.
The state's 23 public library systems, particularly those in rural areas, face many obstacles in providing technology training that can effectively address the wide variety of staff skills in member libraries. The discussions held with library system representatives to prepare this grant application revealed a universal ongoing need for certain basics but with some very diverse specific needs among individual systems.
Plans for Implementing the Staying Connected Grant
Plans to Support Training: To help fill both the universal and the specific needs for training statewide, training funded through the 2004 Staying Connected Grant Program will include both statewide and regional components:
|NY LibraryTrain (Including Web site, NOVEL Pro, and Training Syllabus)||Web site: Working with the State Library, the public library systems, and a statewide library organization,
a consultant will implement a new web site with links to available online training components developed by the
systems and appropriate online communities such as WebJunction. This will provide a convenient means for statewide
sharing of training materials created by individual systems, libraries, and WebJunction to fill specific needs.
The web site will also add new resources as they are developed (see "NOVEL Pro," below).
The originators of the training components will take responsibility for ensuring that their materials are up to date and incorporate new technologies being used in libraries by librarians and the public (e.g., PDAs, wireless devices, etc.). The site will have an evaluation form for completion by library staff taking the training and a form that staff can use with the library users who participate in training in the library.
NOVEL Pro: An essential component of NY LibraryTrain will include new training materials specifically designed to provide training in the use of NOVEL (New York Online Virtual Electronic Library). It will include an overview of NOVEL and the benefits of using its resources as well as training in the use of the growing number of individual databases and other information resources brought together under NOVEL. (See Attachment A for information on NOVEL.)
NOVEL Pro will incorporate the results of an LSTA-funded 2004 Invitational Grant Program. The program, focused on "creating a broad and deep awareness and use of NOVEL resources among New York's library staff and all New Yorkers," will generate NOVEL training models statewide, and NOVEL Pro will incorporate the most successful ones as "best practices."
NOVEL Pro will be available for extensive use by the library community in conjunction with an LSTA-funded statewide NOVEL Education and Information Program scheduled to begin in 2005. The Education and Information Program will be primarily a public-relations initiative targeting the public and library users, encouraging them to take advantage of all the resources available to them at no cost through NOVEL. (See Attachment B for a description of the NOVEL Education and Information Program.) NOVEL Pro will ensure that library staff are educated about all aspects of NOVEL, adept in using all its resources, and proficient in demonstrating its resources to library users.
Training Syllabus: In the second year of the grant, a consultant will conduct a thorough review of the training materials that already exist and have proven valuable in library technology training. The consultant, in collaboration with a working group from the public library systems and the statewide library organization, will then develop a statewide web-based Training Syllabus. The consultant will also identify training courses that do not already exist on library system web sites, WebJunction, or other sites that provide online training (e.g., the State Library Agency Continuing Education Forum web site) and that may require development. The State Library will oversee this collaboration.
The Training Syllabus will incorporate a continuum of library technology training with three tiers, Basic, Beyond Basic, and Advanced, that describe competencies appropriate for staff skills and performance at those levels. The syllabus will provide an invaluable benchmarking tool for library systems and library directors in determining training needs and demonstrating improvements in skill levels. Systems will certify that library staff have successfully completed the training levels. The project partners will devise a means of issuing certificates of proficiency that recognize the achievements of staff.
|Expansion of Outcome-Based Evaluation Training||As part of a ten-phase OBE training plan approved by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the State
Library has developed a set of outcome-based evaluation (OBE) tools and a core OBE training curriculum. This training,
supported in part by Gates Foundation funding, provides the OBE tools and techniques needed to develop and deliver
effective training programs based on specific and measurable outcomes.
The current Staying Connected Grant awarded in 2003 is funding the testing of a core OBE curriculum and up to five two-day OBE workshops for personnel in the library systems that selected that option from the three training options offered in the grant. By using a small portion of the 2004 grant, the State Library will expand the training by adding five more two-day sessions. This expansion will enable the State Library to provide OBE training for personnel in all the library systems, including those that did not choose it during the first year.
After these initial workshops, the State Library will provide one or more "train the trainer" workshops for system staff who have participated in the earlier OBE training. The system trainees will receive a trainer's manual so that they can then train member library staff. These system peer trainers will help individual libraries develop an OBE-based strategy for sustaining public-access computing, including computer upgrades/replacement, technology education, and training of staff and the public.
|Training in Technology Skills||The initial Gates Library Training Program trained 2,200 staff members in 777 libraries and branches. The goal
of the Year 1 (2003) Staying Connected Grant training is to ensure that at least one person from each of the 1,104
library buildings receives either "Basic Skills" or "Beyond Basic Skills" training, depending
on current skill level. Trainers are using the tools and programs developed for the initial training program.
As part of the regional component of this grant, in the first year, the library systems will conduct a needs assessment of the training levels and training needs of staff in their member libraries if they have not already done so. The systems can work with NPower, use or adapt the Gates Sample Staff Skills Survey, etc., for this purpose. By the end of the first year, 100 percent of the public library systems will have a needs assessment that will help determine what training should be included and emphasized in NY LibraryTrain, where gaps exist in training, and what new training components must be developed. Based on the assessment and the Training Syllabus, the systems will establish target percentages for improvement to higher skill levels. Library staff will complete the evaluation form on the NY LibraryTrain web site, and data will be captured and stored for use by the systems and the State Library.
In addition, while NY LibraryTrain is being developed, those trained as peer trainers in the earlier grants will continue to train staff in system member libraries as determined by needs within the library systems. Participants will review basic computer and Internet skills and proceed to beyond-basic and/or advanced skills in troubleshooting, networking, productivity software, and class training techniques. Library systems may also continue to expand the training models they developed for training member and branch library staff.
Sustainability of Training Support: New York State has focused on strategies to strengthen, expand, and sustain technology, including public-access computing, in its New Century Libraries legislative initiative, its implementation plan for NOVEL, and the public library systems' Plans of Service. The New York State Library Services and Technology Act Five-Year Plan for October 1, 2002-September 30, 2007 emphasizes technology and the importance of NOVEL.
The funding made available through this Staying Connected Grant, coupled with matching funds from federal and state sources and the local library systems, will be invested in initiatives to enhance public-access computing while building New York's capacity to maintain technology and technology training in its public libraries. The grant components will build a new web resource that will be an ongoing, continuously updated source of technology training tools and help provide broad training in NOVEL, increase the number of peer trainers with special skills in OBE training who can then train others, and enable the library systems to fill specific regional training needs.
NOVEL Pro and the statewide NOVEL Education and Information Program will reinforce each other in advancing public-access computing and computer literacy through increased use of NOVEL. The Information and Education Program will increase public awareness of NOVEL and public support for initiatives to increase funding for NOVEL and other library services, i.e., the New Century Libraries legislative initiative. NOVEL Pro, through a selected set of training modules, will ensure that library staff statewide are hearing a consistent message and learning best how to use NOVEL effectively. This widespread effectiveness among library staff will assist in the ongoing effort to demonstrate NOVEL to library users, including decision-makers such as State Legislators and their staffs.
An investment of an additional $10,000 to complete OBE training of library system personnel will greatly benefit the public library systems in planning and providing future technology training for their member libraries. When training and services provided by the libraries are based on measurable outcomes, they are far more likely to be successful in enhancing and sustaining public-access computing.
Library system and library staff trained through earlier Gates grant initiatives, including those trained in Seattle as part of the initial Gates State Partnership Grant, are now providing continuity in the state's training efforts. Each grant period has increased the availability of skilled trainers distributed strategically within the library systems, further enhancing sustainability. As noted earlier, many of these skilled trainers have developed training modules for use in their own systems (see NY LibraryTrain).
Who Will Provide Training: Subject to the approval of the State Comptroller, the State Library will arrange for the OBE Training Workshops to be conducted by the expert trainer already on contract to the State Library. In turn, system peer trainers will instruct the staff in member libraries in techniques for articulating a strategy to sustain public-access computing. Such a strategy will encompass the upgrading or replacement of computers and development of indicators and outcomes for technology education and training for library staff and users.
The structure and format of NOVEL Pro training will evolve from the "best practices" established through the 2004 LSTA-funded NOVEL Invitational Grant Program. The Program Guidelines specify that the LSTA projects "provide increased training opportunities for library system and member library staff, students, faculty, business people, media, the public, and others in effectively using the statewide NOVEL databases and other electronic resources to meet information needs." Eligible expenditures under the LSTA grant include funds to hire trainers or pay other costs associated with training if they use their own staff.
In the regional training component, library system staff will contract with technology training experts or provide the training themselves. In addition, they will use the training resources of NY LibraryTrain as components are evaluated, developed, and made available.
How Libraries Will Be Informed of the Training Opportunities: The State Library will publicize the OBE Training Workshops, NY LibraryTrain, and NOVEL Pro through a number of channels: NYLINE (e-mail communications system); the State Library web site; listservs of library organizations; the public library systems and Public Library System Directors Organization (PULISDO); and the New York Library Association (NYLA) Conference, web site, and communications.
At the local level, the public library systems will publicize upcoming Staying Connected technology training sessions, encouraging all individual libraries and branches to send staff. Vehicles for publicity may include the following: announcements at system and member library events; fliers and mailings; e-mail and listservs; system websites. System staff and the corps of trainers within the systems will also encourage attendance through word of mouth, networking, and other professional contacts. As NY LibraryTrain evolves, library systems will promote use of its resources by staff in member libraries.
Outcomes of Implementing the Staying Connected Grant
Training Outcomes: Overall, the success of the Staying Connected training will depend on the extent to which library staff are able to learn new skills and the extent to which they are able to make resources available to the public and provide effective public training.
Library system staff who receive in-depth OBE training will learn valuable techniques and a systematic method of determining if a technology training program has achieved its goals. They will understand how to use an organized process of developing an outcome-based technology training program that helps them articulate and establish clear program benefits (outcomes), identify ways to measure those benefits (indicators), and clarify the target audience, so that programs achieve the intended results. By ensuring that library systems staff from all the public library systems receive training in OBE, the State Library can effectively disseminate the training to staff in all system member libraries throughout the state.
Those who receive training through the resources of NY LibraryTrain and through the regional training provided by the library systems will be proficient with computers, networking, software applications, and troubleshooting. Those who receive NOVEL training through NOVEL Pro (which should over time include all member library staff) will develop a familiarity and a level of comfort in working with NOVEL. They will be able to interact effectively with the public as they demonstrate the NOVEL resources, increase their own productivity by quickly locating information for themselves and others, and understand the need for ongoing training for themselves and others.
The needs assessment conducted by the library systems will help determine what training should be included and emphasized in NY LibraryTrain. It will also provide baseline information essential for evaluating the effectiveness of training programs through improvements in staff technology skills.
How to Determine If Outcomes Are Achieved:
NY LibraryTrain: A number of library systems have already devised web-based forms and mechanisms for capturing anecdotal and numerical information on the use of training resources on their own websites. The NY LibraryTrain web site will draw from the most useful existing mechanisms and add features as needed.
- NY LibraryTrain will include resources designed to achieve specific, measurable results.
- Online surveys will electronically capture feedback from users, including anecdotal information.
- NY LibraryTrain will capture web site usage statistics.
- A three-tiered Training Syllabus will clearly identify the requirements for earning certificates of proficiency at specific skill levels, and usage statistics will indicate that the syllabus is being used by public library staff.
- Based on targets established through the needs assessment, 20 percent of member library staff will earn certificates of proficiency at one or more skill levels after using the NY LibraryTrain.
- Library staff around the state will use the NOVEL Pro collection of training materials, with user satisfaction indicated through surveys at the conclusion of training sessions.
- New York's public libraries will show an increase in usage statistics for the NOVEL databases as a result of staff receiving training through NOVEL Pro.
Expansion of Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE) Training:
- Sixty additional public library system staff will be trained in the use of OBE tools; they will demonstrate their knowledge by planning technology-training programs that identify clear indicators and outcomes, and will train other library system and member library staff in OBE.
- Ten percent of public libraries will develop an OBE-based strategy to sustain public-access computing.
Regional Training Component:
- One hundred percent of public library systems will conduct a training needs assessment or continue with their ongoing assessment procedures.
- Over the three years of the grant, 220 additional library staff members who were not trained in the earlier Gates training programs will reach proficiency at the Basic skill level; 20 percent of all those previously trained and newly trained will achieve the next higher skill level.
- Library staff that move from one skill level to the next will be documented and statistics provided to the State Library.
- Library staff who increase their skill level will complete surveys on the NY LibraryTrain web site, which will collect information on staff training and provide data for evaluation.
- Public library users will complete surveys indicating their satisfaction level after receiving training from recently trained library staff.
Evaluation information and feedback -- particularly anecdotal information from the public -- will be of considerable interest to local county and State Legislators and their aides. Library system directors routinely meet formally and informally with local decision-makers -- e.g., at legislative breakfasts -- and attend Library Day in Albany, held every March. When discussing needed support for libraries, the legislators routinely say, "Send me your stories!" Local libraries will be able to share with voters the stories of library users and publicize the technology services and training they provide through their newsletters and annual reports.
The State Library will have access to the feedback submitted electronically through NY LibraryTrain. Data and anecdotes will be of tremendous value in publicizing and demonstrating the importance of library services and increasing support for library technology among decision-makers and the public.
|Grant funds allocated to||
|The State Library will match the grant amount with Federal funds and New York State funds when they become available. The public library systems will provide a 50-percent match from local funds.|
What are the origins of NOVEL?
The Board of Regents, at their July 13, 2000, meeting, adopted the final report of the Regents Commission on Library Services, Meeting the Needs of all New Yorkers: Library Service in the New Century, as Regents policy. Recommendation 1 in this report is to "Create NOVEL, the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library, to deliver high-quality, reliable digital information to all New Yorkers."
How comprehensive is NOVEL?
NOVEL is intended to encompass all types of libraries: public, school, academic, and special libraries. NOVEL will enable all of New York's libraries to make digital information from their collections available to users in their homes or offices.
How much State funding is being requested by the Regents to implement NOVEL?
As part of New Century Libraries, the State will invest $14 million annually to create NOVEL. For resources and the latest information on the full New Century Libraries Regents and Legislative Budget proposal, go to <http://www.ncl.nysed.gov/>.
What is included in the NOVEL Implementation Plan?
NOVEL: Libraries Expanding Information Access for New Yorkers in the New Century, the Final NOVEL Implementation Plan translates many ideas into a single written source that provides the foundation on which we will construct NOVEL. To do this, the Implementation Plan recommends five NOVEL initiatives, which offer the basis of a program that will greatly expand access to bibliographic and full-text electronic information for New Yorkers. The five NOVEL initiatives are as follows:
The Plan also recommends the creation of a NOVEL Steering Committee to organize the ongoing work of NOVEL.
What is the NOVEL Steering Committee?
The NOVEL Steering Committee comprises library leaders from a broad spectrum of libraries and systems throughout the State. They have the responsibility of implementing the NOVEL plan, NOVEL New York Online Virtual Electronic Library: Libraries Expanding Information Access for New Yorkers in the New Century (1) to guide electronic services in the State's libraries in the 21st century, and (2) to ensure quality information services to all residents. The Steering Committee will build on the five initiatives developed by the NOVEL Planning Team that serve to lay the groundwork for the NOVEL plan.
Who are the members of the NOVEL Steering Committee?
Ex Officio Members:
How can I obtain more information about NOVEL or participate in NOVEL discussions and development?
If you need additional information or would like to know more about NOVEL, visit the NOVEL web site at <http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/library/novel>. You can also sign up for the NOVEL-L e-mail list to participate in NOVEL discussions and development. Instructions for subscribing to NOVEL-L are posted on the NOVEL Web site.
The University of the State of New York o The State Education Department
In 2005, the New York State Library will launch a statewide education and information program to create a broad and deep awareness of NOVEL among New Yorkers.
What is NOVEL?
NOVEL (New York Online Virtual Electronic Library) is currently an online collection of e journals, full-text magazines, newspapers, electronic books, encyclopedias, and other databases licensed on a statewide basis for free access through local public, academic, school, and special (nonprofit) libraries. Many libraries that have the technological capability also offer remote access to users in their homes, schools, and offices.
As of June 2004, 4,853 libraries were actively using the NOVEL Databases program. The NOVEL Databases program is currently funded with $2.5 million in temporary federal funds granted to the New York State Library by the Institute for Museum and Library Services. New State funds of $14 million are needed to sustain and expand NOVEL resources and services.
A critical resource for New Yorkers in the information age, NOVEL is intended to provide a gateway to an extensive information network for all New Yorkers, even those in the most geographically isolated communities. As the resources and services brought together under NOVEL grow, it will also provide access to the rich resources of libraries throughout the state via online catalogs; digitized collections of photographs, images, maps, manuscripts, and other unique items digitized by libraries, museums, and other institutions; and other proprietary materials in addition to a vast array of commercially available electronic resources. NOVEL will offer a networked library where librarians apply their expertise in selection to create paths to useful sites, to verify the accuracy and currency of data, and to validate resources.
NOVEL will ensure that all New Yorkers have equity of access to information. Through its connection at local libraries, NOVEL resources will be accessible to those without personal computers. Through an online connection at home, school, or office, NOVEL will be always open, always ready, and always available.
Goals of the NOVEL Education and Information Program:
Grant Administrative Contact:
Division of Library Development
New York State Library
Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230
Phone: (518) 486-4858
Fax: (518) 486-5254
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