State Partnership Grant Application and New York State

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The Gates Library Initiative (GLI), which began in New York State with the submission of a State Partnership Grant Application in October 1998, comes to an end October 2001. The Gates Initiative brought $16.6 million to New York's public libraries and branches for the purpose of making computer and Internet technology more available to those who have no other means of access. Through the State Partnership Grant and the Accelerated Grant Program, the Gates Library Initiative provided funding to public libraries and branches in New York State serving communities with a poverty level of 10% or more, as determined by a formula estab­lished by GLI. The Initiative also provided some support for public libraries that have a poverty level of less than 10% through the partial building grant program.

What was the State Library Application Process?

Working with the Public Library Leadership Coalition, the New York State Library submitted its State Partnership Grant Application to the Gates Foundation on October 7, 1998. A technology inventory of all public libraries and branches was submitted on November 6, 1998, following the collection of required information by the 23 public library systems and compilation of this information by the State Library.

What was the Public Library Leadership Coalition?

The Public Library Leadership Coalition advised the State Library about the development of the State Partnership Grant Application. The Coalition included representatives from the New York Library Association, Public Library System Directors Organization, New York State Association of Library Boards, Central Libraries Association, and the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries.

Members of the Public Library Leadership Coalition were:

Mary Brink, Director, Nioga Library System;
Paul Crumlish, Director, Warren Hunting Smith Library, Hobart and William Smith Colleges;
Martín Gómez, Director, Brooklyn Public Library;
John Hammond, Director, North Country Reference and Research Resources Council;
James Holley, Director, Vestal Public Library;
Patricia Mautino, Trustee, Liverpool Public Library;
Edward M. O'Connor, Director, Southern Adirondack Library System;
Bernadette Poole, Trustee, Rochester Regional Library Council and Rochester Public Library;
Myron Roochvarg, Director, Commack Public Library;
Lindsay Ruth, Director, Geneva Free Library;
Janet Steiner, Director, Tompkins County Public Library;
Gary Strong, Director, Queens Borough Public Library;
Parry Teasdale, Trustee, Phoenicia Library;
Catherine Way, Assistant Director, Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System and James Prendergast Library Asso­ciation; and
Arthur Weeks, Director, Finger Lakes Library System.

What Was the Application Process for Libraries?

Public libraries and branches that serve communities at or above the 10% poverty level attended grant application workshops and then submitted applications for cash grants in June 2000. Cash grants included hardware, software, telecommunications services for Internet access (but not ongoing connectivity), training and technical assistance. Hardware and software configurations depended on the needs of each library.

Libraries that were ineligible for cash grants were eligible to apply for partial building grants, which provided software and some training free of charge and also allowed for the purchase of computers and additional training at discounted prices.

In a separate application process and timeline, libraries that serve populations of 300,000 or more submitted grant applications to the Gates Foundation for the accelerated grant program in November 1999, and awards were made in January 2000. Libraries in New York State that received grants through this program included: Brooklyn Public Library, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Onondaga County Public Library, Queens Borough Public Library, and The New York Public Library. These libraries received all of the items noted above for cash grants as well as training laboratories on site.

The emphasis of all grants provided by GLI is unmediated public access computing.

How Can I learn more about the Gates Library Initiative in New York?

Information about the Gates Library Initiative is available on the New York State Library Web site.

Who Should You Contact for More Information?

If you have questions or need additional information, contact Mary Linda Todd, (518-486-4858).

About the Initiative

Go to Library Development home page

Last Updated: February 26, 2014