New York State's Reference and Research Library Resources Councils

Ensuring that all New Yorkers get the information they need regardless of where they live, work or go to school.

Facts about Reference and Research Library Resources Councils

  • Serve over 19 million people statewide
  • Serve over 1,000 academic, business, hospital, law, and other special libraries
  • Serve 23 public library systems with 755 public libraries
  • Serve 40 school library systems with over 4,700 school library media centers
  • Provide statewide delivery service to libraries through Empire Library Delivery (ELD)
  • Distribute grants to all types of libraries
  • Negotiate licenses and access to electronic information including databases and e-books
  • Provide professional development and training opportunities for library staff
  • Collaborate on regional and statewide projects through the Empire State Library Network external link opens in a new window:

New York State's Reference and Research Library Resources Councils

3Rs map; click to go to the 3Rs page and connect with the 9 3Rs
  • Capital District Library Council -- 518-438-2500
  • Central New York Library Resources Council -- (315) 446-5446
  • Long Island Library Resources Council -- (631) 675-1570
  • METRO - Metropolitan New York Library Council (212) 228-2320
  • Northern New York Library Network -- (315) 265-1119
  • Rochester Regional Library Council -- (585) 223-7570
  • South Central Regional Library Council -- (607) 273-9106
  • Southeastern New York Library Resources Council -- (845) 883-9065
  • Western New York Library Resources Council -- (716) 633-0705

Reference and Research Library Resources Councils provide a wide range of direct support services

  • Support for the latest technologies and their application, including digitization projects, social networks, e-books, Internet access, websites, locator ¬†tools, equipment and software
  • Interlibrary loan, document delivery services, reciprocal borrowing cards and other resource sharing services
  • Special library research services for small rural hospital libraries to ensure access to major research collections
  • Staff expertise in areas such as medical information, advanced technology, collection development, management, reference services, digitization, and information literacy
  • Programs of professional development and training for library staff on site, online and through video conferencing
  • Coordination of state funding programs for academic collections, hospital services, and regional resource sharing.
  • Support development of digital collections through statewide and regional partnerships: Empire State Digital Network, a hub of the Digital Public Library of America; New York Heritage Digital Collections; New York State Historic Newspapers; and more
  • Cooperative grants administration, consulting and grant writing assistance
  • Marketing, advocacy and public relations services

Background Information

In 1966, the New York State Legislature authorized the establishment of reference and research library resources systems (councils) in Education Law. Governance and function are established in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Each system is governed by a board of trustees and has a variety of advisory committees to help carry out its work.

The State created the regional councils to expand the availability of the resources of academic, medical, law, business and special libraries to more New Yorkers and to enable libraries of all types to buy services and share resources cooperatively in order to strengthen programs and services.

All nine of the reference and research library resources councils are supported by a combination of State Aid, membership dues and other revenue sources.

For more information on and links to Reference and Research Library Resources Councils:

Logo of the Empire State Library Network
  Image map of the 3Rs systems; click on the map for a larger version that links to the nine 3Rs Councils.

The above document as a printable brochure PDF format [325k]

Last Updated: September 11, 2019 -- sm