Library Services and Technology Act Five-Year Evaluation Report
October 1, 2007–September 30, 2012

EVALUATOR: Amanda R. Latreille, M.S.I.S., AmaLat Consulting

COMMISSIONED BY: New York State Library, New York State Education Department, The University of the State of New York

DATE: March 26, 2012

Contents | This document in .PDF format pdf icon [469k]

THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

Regents of The University

  • MERRYL H. TISCH, Chancellor, B.A., M.A., Ed.D.; New York
  • MILTON L. COFIELD, Vice Chancellor, B.S., M.B.A., Ph.D.; Rochester
  • ROBERT M. BENNETT, Chancellor Emeritus, B.A., M.S.; Tonawanda
  • JAMES C. DAWSON, A.A., B.A., M.S., Ph.D.; Plattsburgh
  • ANTHONY S. BOTTAR, B.A., J.D.; Syracuse
  • GERALDINE D. CHAPEY, B.A., M.A., Ed.D.; Belle Harbor
  • HARRY PHILLIPS, 3rd, B.A., M.S.F.S.; Hartsdale
  • JAMES R. TALLON, JR., B.A., M.A.; Binghamton
  • ROGER TILLES, B.A., J.D.; Great Neck
  • CHARLES R. BENDIT, B.A.; Manhattan
  • BETTY A. ROSA, B.A., M.S. in Ed., M.S. in Ed., M.Ed., Ed.D.; Bronx
  • LESTER W. YOUNG, JR., B.S., M.S., Ed. D.; Oakland Gardens
  • CHRISTINE D. CEA, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.; Staten Island
  • WADE S. NORWOOD, B.A.; Rochester
  • JAMES O. JACKSON, B.S., M.A., Ph.D.; Albany
  • CATHLEEN M. CASHIN, B.S., M.S. in Ed., Ed.D.; Kings
  • JAMES E. COTTRELL, M.D.; Brooklyn

President of The University and Commissioner of Education
JOHN B. KING, JR.

Executive Deputy Commissioner
VALERIE GREY

Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Acting State Librarian
JEFFREY W. CANNELL

The New York State Education Department does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, gender, genetic predisposition or carrier status or sexual orientation in its educational programs, services and activities. Portions of this publication can be made available in a variety of formats, including Braille, large print or audio tape, upon request. Inquiries concerning this policy of nondiscrimination should be directed to the Department’s Office for Diversity, Ethics and Access, Room 530, Education Building, Albany, NY 12234. Requests for additional copies of this publication may be made by contacting the New York State Library, Division of Library Development, Cultural Education Center 10B41, Albany, NY 12230.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Summary

Background

Methodology

Findings

  • Goal #1 -- All New Yorkers will have reliable, electronic access to high-quality information resources through the expansion of NOVELNY and through enhancement of libraries’ technology capabilities to meet users’ information needs.
  • Goal #2 -- All New Yorkers will have improved access to library resources and services that advance and enhance their personal, educational and working lives.
  • Goal #3 -- The State Library, library systems and libraries will deliver new and improved programs that anticipate and meet New Yorkers’ constantly changing needs for library services.
  • Goal #4 -- The State Library, library systems, libraries and library organizations will strengthen public policy support for upgrading library services for every New Yorker through improved communication, collaboration and partnership efforts within and beyond the library community.

Appendix #1: Partnerships Created Through LSTA-Funded Activities

Appendix #2: List of Acronyms

Appendix #3: List of People Interviewed and/or Surveyed

Appendix #4: Bibliography of Documents Reviewed

Appendix #5: LSTA Partnership Survey

Appendix #6: State Library Opinion Survey

SUMMARY

The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Program is critical to New York State’s library systems, libraries and the communities they serve. The funds allocated to the New York State Library for October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2012 were used for two important purposes: (1) they supported statewide services, including those coordinated by the State Library’s Division of Library Development and the Research Library; and (2) they provided grants for library systems to improve programs and services at regional and local levels. Though LSTA monies represent less than one percent of library expenditures in New York State, the evaluation indicated that impact was great. Extensive progress was made in meeting all four goals of the Five-Year LSTA Plan, 2007-2012, with many of the activities completed and target outputs and outcomes achieved.

To carry out the Five-Year LSTA Evaluation, the State Library commissioned an independent evaluator, Amanda R. Latreille, M.S.I.S., of AmaLat Consulting, in September 2011. The evaluator reviewed all LSTA-related reports, statistics and other relevant documents from 2007-2012. Multiple State Library staff members were interviewed, and New York’s library systems were also asked to participate. The LSTA Partnership Survey was distributed to library system directors to ascertain the use and value of partnerships in LSTA-funded projects. The evaluator collected and analyzed the results. Sixty-one of the 73 library systems took part (84-percent response rate). The State Library also collected information through a 2012 Opinion Survey about the Current and Future Services of the New York State Library, as part of a multi-state Gates Foundation-supported project. More than 700 respondents from all types of libraries participated. Survey results are mentioned in this report as appropriate.

The Five-Year LSTA Plan, 2007-2012, and its four goals served as the overall foundation for the evaluation. Questions regarding the completion of activities and the achievement of outputs and outcomes were asked. Also, the evaluator explored the State Library’s greatest successes, as well as those activities that were not successful or completed during the evaluation period. Related challenges were investigated. Equally important, evaluation findings were reviewed in terms of the LSTA priorities in law and the Recommendations of the New York State Board of Regents Commission on Library Services. In 2000, the Commission issued the final report, Meeting the Needs of All New Yorkers: Library Service in the New Century. New and updated statewide recommendations are currently under development by the Board of Regents Advisory Council on Libraries as part of the 2020 Vision Plan.

chart showing NOVELNY searches, increase from 25.6 million in 2006-07 to 42.5 million in 2010-11; click to see a larger versionThe evaluation determined that NOVELNY (New York Online Virtual Electronic Library) and Summer Reading at New York Libraries (previously known as the Statewide Summer Reading Program) top the list for most growth and greatest impact. These projects, by far, reach and benefit the most libraries and communities in New York State. Both programs are funded with LSTA monies. The State Library Opinion Survey confirmed this finding, as respondents gave the two programs the highest importance ratings out of a list of statewide services currently provided by the State Library.

Established in 1999, NOVELNY provides all New Yorkers with free access to an electronic collection of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias and other database resources through local libraries and remote locations such as home, school and office. From 2006-2010, an effective communication plan for NOVELNY, titled the Statewide Education and Information Program, was carried out to boost public awareness. A new website, logo and library toolkit were developed, and a Facebook page for NOVELNY was created. Partnerships led to widespread promotion. For example, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles distributed two million NOVELNY informational inserts with vehicle registration and driver license renewal notices. Extensive database training for library staff was also offered through the State Library and library systems. Use has continued to increase with 42.5 million searches conducted between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 (see above chart).  Also important to note, because access to NOVELNY databases is provided on a statewide basis, every $1 spent equals $35 in electronic resources. This is an enormous savings to libraries. One Facebook user summarized this well by submitting the following comment in 2010: Thank you so much for providing these databases! They really help schools and communities fill in the gaps where there is limited funding. This year’s additions, if kept, will allow me to save tons of money for my school!

chart showing Summer Reading participation increase from 1.3 million in 2007 to 1.65 million in 2011; click to see a larger versionSummer Reading at New York Libraries fosters a lifelong love of reading and libraries in children and teens. Research has shown that summer reading programs raise student achievement levels and prevent learning losses when school is not in session. In 2007, the State Library joined the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), a national consortium that pools resources. Project partnerships and subsequent promotion via multiple communication channels, such as the Internet, television, radio, newspapers and local schools, reached new levels during the evaluation period. Online registration was also added in 2010 to allow children and teens in rural areas to participate and track their reading remotely. The target of 1.5 million participants from the Five-Year LSTA Plan was surpassed. In 2011, participation reached 1.65 million. The new goal for 2012 is 1.8 million participants. In addition, LSTA funds were used to provide New York State’s 23 public library systems with Summer Reading Program Mini Grants each year to further develop the program at regional and local levels, through promotion, outreach, staff training and other activities.

The State Library was also very successful in bringing in additional grant monies for New York State’s libraries during the evaluation period. For example, the Division of Library Development coordinated four statewide grant projects from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, totaling more than $8.5 million. These grant programs all strongly supported the sustainability of public access computing services in public libraries, with one program, Spanish Language Outreach, specifically targeting the Spanish speaking population. The first grant, Staying Connected Phase Two brought 1,551 technology-related training sessions to library staff, with 10,069 people participating from 1,100 library buildings. Spanish Language Outreach offered 48 workshops for approximately 800 library staff and trustees. The Opportunity Online Hardware Grant Program funded 3,229 new public access computers and other hardware, software and staff technology and advocacy training for 421 libraries. Finally, the Opportunity Online Broadband Grant Program brought technical support, staff training and enhanced Internet connectivity and services to 64 public libraries.

The evaluation period was also marked by two other broadband initiatives, as many rural communities in New York State lack high-speed Internet services. This has become a major issue as adequate connectivity speeds are necessary to access the electronic information resources provided by libraries, including NOVELNY. To carry out the two projects, the State Library was awarded almost $10 million. The first, the Universal Access Grant Program funded by the New York State Office for Technology, supported the installment of network management technology to apportion and increase bandwidth in member libraries of three rural public library systems. Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary was the second, funded with federal stimulus monies from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. It created 30 public computing centers (PCCs) in libraries and five e-mobile training units, with a special emphasis on providing classes and one-on-one assistance for job seekers and the unemployed.

The State Library’s Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE) Initiative was continued and expanded from 2007-2011. Started in 2003 with LSTA funds, the project continues to assist librarians in measuring the impact of library services at state, regional and local levels through training, online resources and support. Additional Basic OBE Training Workshops were held during the evaluation period, and an Introductory OBE Webinar was developed and posted. Outcomes were also consistently written into applicable statewide plans and grant applications. The inclusion of OBE was a strong factor in receiving the multiple grant awards listed above (funders clearly saw the project’s intended benefits and a deeper level of planning). State Library grants, such as LSTA-funded Service Improvement Grants, also require applicants to submit OBE plans for proposed projects. The evaluation showed that OBE has become a valuable and effective standard for the State Library.

The State Library’s Research Library experienced growth in access and use as well. Significant enhancements were made to the website and online catalog during the evaluation period. More than 140 new finding aids were created and added to the Research Library website, and a total of 70 web pages were either created or revised, including informational pages specifically for the education and business communities. A new online catalog interface, added in 2010, provides enhanced indexing and searching. Approximately 350,000 records were updated with additional access points. Digital collections were significantly increased. Staff scanned 326,292 pages of New York State documents and downloaded 4,940 born-digital New York State documents from 2009-2011. An additional 52,061 pages of historic documents and special collections materials were also digitized. Electronic resources grew from approximately 20,000 full-text journals and newspapers in 2008 to 30,000 in 2011. Participating in multiple consortia resulted in obtaining discounted subscription costs for electronic resources.

The Research Library also increased hours from 40 to 48 in 2010, opening on Saturdays. Public programs and training were also expanded to the weekend. As a result, onsite public visits jumped to 67,475 in 2010-2011 (up 41-percent from 2009-2010). Borrowing privileges also continue to be available to all New York State residents aged 18 and older. The number of registered borrowers increased 22-percent from 2007 to 17,622 in 2010-2011 (the increase in new borrowers was actually greater, as more than 3,500 borrowers were deleted from the system as their cards had expired). Resource sharing collaborations and enhanced interlibrary loan (ILL) software and services led to large increases in ILL use as well. Respondents of the State Library Opinion Survey gave ILL the highest importance rating for Research Library services, with the online catalog and the Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) also in the top three.

LSTA-funded Service Improvement Grants were awarded to library systems throughout the evaluation period. A total of $3.2 million was awarded to support new or improved programs and services in all three types of New York State’s library systems: (1) public library systems; (2) reference and research library resources systems; and (3) school library systems (more information about library systems, their roles, services and work with the State Library). LSTA funds were used to meet a variety of library and community needs. Many projects included technology, training and resource sharing aspects. Target audiences varied greatly, and showed diversity in age, background and need. The grants also strongly supported the blending of federal, state and local resources. See the chart below for in-kind contribution totals:

LSTA Grants to Library Systems, 2007-2012

Service Improvement Grants 2007-2012

LSTA funds awarded: $3.2 million

In-kind contributions: $4.3 million

Summer Reading Program Mini Grants 2008-2011

LSTA funds awarded: $876,000

In-kind contributions: $2.6 million

All of the above activities and those described throughout the report support the LSTA priorities. For example, NOVELNY and Summer Reading at New York Libraries carry out many of the priorities by fostering learning, providing access to information, connecting library systems and libraries, building partnerships and targeting diverse and high-need individuals, groups and communities. In addition, the following chart highlights activities, either fully or partially funded by LSTA, that supported Recommendations of the 2000 Regents Commission Report:

Recommendations of the 2000 Regents Commission Report and
Supporting Activities Either Fully or Partially Funded by LSTA, 2007-2012

Recommendation #1: Create NOVEL, the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library, to deliver high quality, reliable digital information to all New Yorkers.

  • Enhanced NOVELNY, adding a general encyclopedia and job resource.
  • Completed the Statewide Education and Information Program, improving public awareness of NOVELNY through branding, promotion and partnerships. A new website, logo and toolkit were created. A NOVELNY Facebook page was developed. A key partnership with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles resulted in distribution of 2 million NOVELNY informational inserts. NOVELNY use continued to increase with 42.5 million searches in 2010-2011.
  • Coordinated multiple statewide grant programs funded by the Gates Foundation, New York State Office for Technology and National Telecommunications and Information Administration offering technology training and enhancements. Many sessions included searching NOVELNY resources. These grants totaled more than $18 million.
  • Incorporated NOVELNY into Summer Reading at New York Libraries using fun and informative quizzes.
  • Upgraded the NOVELNY-Ready Library Services Table.
  • Continued to provide E-rate technical assistance to libraries.

Recommendation #2: Ensure that all New York’s students are information literate by providing strong school library media programs that include appropriately certified professional staff, adequate resources and technology.

  • Awarded annual Service Improvement Grants to school library systems.
  • Participated in the School Library Services Summit in 2009, sponsored by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the New York Library Association (NYLA)’s School Library Media Section and School Library System Association. Outputs included: (1) a revised School Library Media Program Evaluation rubric; (2) changes to the Basic Education Data System School Library Survey; (3) posted and peer-reviewed Information Literacy Learning Experiences (lesson plans); and (4) guidelines for usage of Library Materials Aid and a formula-based increase for Board of Regents consideration.
  • Worked with NYSED’s P-12 to provide data for the New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC)’s Informational Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement, a white paper supporting the value of school libraries.

Recommendation #3: Promote the availability of local public library services to all New Yorkers and improve local support for public libraries through the formation of Public Library Districts.

  • Partnered with NYLA and public library systems to offer public library district how-to information and support.
  • Created 12 new public library districts from 2007-2010. The number of New Yorkers without library services was reduced to 945,037 by 2011 (down from 1.3 million).

Recommendation #4: Promote equitable library services for all New Yorkers through a need-based formula to reduce disparities in public library funding, and create NY EXCELS to promote service excellence in all types of libraries and library systems through enabling and incentive aid.

  • Awarded $3.2 million in Service Improvement Grants to all types of library systems fostering innovation and service excellence.

Recommendation #5: Provide support for public library construction, expansion and renovation to ensure that New York’s libraries are accessible to all library users and can accommodate advances in technology.

  • Updated the public library construction needs list in 2010 using Public Library Annual Report statistics and surveys. The current need is $2.5 billion.  Also, maintained data on the age of library buildings in New York State.
  • Offered, in partnership with public library systems, an annual State-funded $14 million Public Library Construction Grant Program that awarded an average of 175 grants per year.

Recommendation #6: Improve the capacity of New York’s urban public libraries to meet the unique needs of diverse library users in underserved, densely populated communities.

  • Awarded annual Service Improvement Grants to public library systems.
  • Coordinated multiple training programs for library staff with assessment, planning, outreach, collaboration, advocacy and evaluation aspects through some of the statewide technology grant programs mentioned under Recommendation #1, the Spanish Language Outreach Grant Program, New York EqualAccess Libraries and other initiatives.
  • Evaluation training for library staff was continued through the OBE Initiative.

Recommendation #7: Strengthen the ability of New York’s libraries to help library users acquire basic English literacy, information literacy and computer literacy skills in their communities.

  • Continued Summer Reading at New York Libraries. Conducted greater promotion through new partnerships and communication channels. Provided annual Summer Reading Program Mini Grants to public library systems, totaling $876,000. Began online registration. Participation grew to 1.65 million in 2011.
  • Continued the State-funded Adult and Family Literacy Grant Programs.
  • Coordinated the grant programs mentioned under Recommendation #1, many of which directly supported computer literacy. Offered Spanish Language Outreach, a Gates Foundation grant program that grew public library services for Spanish speakers.
  • Partnered on NYLA’s statewide digital literacy initiative, titled NY Libraries-Leading the Way to Digital Literacy. This project’s goal is to train a maximum of 1,200 library staff to teach digital literacy skills using digital literacy standards through 40 regional workshops over a three-year period.

Recommendation #8: Enhance access to the specialized resources held by New York’s academic, special and research libraries to improve educational achievement, economic development and health care for all New Yorkers.

  • Awarded annual Service Improvement Grants to reference and research library resources systems.
  • Continued the State-funded Conservation/Preservation Grant Program.
  • Partnered on the New York Heritage Project, a digital collections portal developed by the reference and research library resources systems.
  • Created a Statewide Preservation Plan through an IMLS Connecting to Collections Grant.
  • Fostered collaboration between the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Mid-Atlantic Regional Office (NNLM/MAR) and reference and research library resources systems. Received an NNLM/MAR grant to provide outreach and training to unaffiliated health professionals.
  • Enhanced access to Research Library collections through a variety of improvements, including an enhanced website and online catalog, greater digital collections, new Saturday hours and improved ILL services. Resources specifically for the education and business communities were developed. Use statistics significantly increased.

Recommendation #9: Support and enhance a highly skilled library workforce to meet the information needs of New Yorkers.

  • Instituted a requirement in 2010 that public library certification holders must complete 60 hours of professional development every five years.
  • Worked with NYLA to draft improvements for the New York State Civil Service Librarian Exams, which were approved.
  • Provided a number of training opportunities for library staff, previously mentioned under Recommendations #1 and #6. College of DuPage teleconferences were also offered.
  • Maintained and updated the librarycareersny.org website. An RSS feed of current library job listings was added.
  • Offered a Training on the Go statewide initiative in partnership with NYLA, providing online professional development to all types of libraries.

Recommendation #10: Provide leadership for change by strengthening the expertise and accountability of the State Library and by creating a statewide advocacy coalition.

  • Encouraged continuing education for State Library staff. Eighty-eight percent of State Library librarians completed an average of at least six hours of training each year.
  • Integrated OBE into statewide processes and grant projects, fostering accountability through the evaluation of successes, challenges and areas for improvement.
  • Conducted a State Library Opinion Survey with the library field, part of a multi-state Gates Foundation project.
  • Continued and strengthened collaborations within NYSED. Continued a strong partnership with NYLA, the Library Trustees Association of New York State (LTA), and the New York State Higher Education Initiative (NYSHEI). Established a variety of new partnerships for NOVELNY and Summer Reading at New York Libraries.
  • Offered leadership training to library staff and trustees, such as Opportunity Online Hardware’s Turning the Page workshop in 2008 and the Broadband Summit in 2009.

While many successes were noted during the evaluation process, challenges also surfaced. Across the State Library, staffing and funding constraints were the most commonly described obstacles. The Division of Library Development and the Research Library experienced significant losses in staff due primarily to layoffs and retirements (without replacements) during the evaluation period. In some cases, deficient staff resources meant planned activities could not be carried out. For example, Research Library programming, outreach and promotion were significantly pulled back in the last two years (many of the layoffs occurred in late 2010). In two years, the State Library has experienced cuts from multiple sources, including a $1.4 million cut in LSTA funding, with additional cuts possible in FY 2013.

Lastly, partnerships were a specific focus of this evaluation. The State Library, as mentioned, used collaborations to effectively advance multiple statewide initiatives, while the LSTA Partnership Survey distributed to library systems determined that partnerships were also valuable at regional and local levels. Data analysis showed that 92-percent of respondents felt partners were either important or very important in carrying out LSTA-funded activities. Respondents indicated that they worked with multiple partners of many types, including other library systems and libraries, government agencies, schools, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, community groups and clubs and businesses. Partner contributions also ranged, with expertise, staff and facility contributions making up the top three.

The following are recommendations for the State Library to consider when developing the next Five-Year LSTA Plan. They are based on the successes, challenges and needs identified during the evaluation process:

  • Continue to support and build new partnerships for NOVELNY and Summer Reading at New York Libraries. The collaborative work with partners and subsequent widespread promotion during the evaluation period greatly expanded these two programs.
  • Foster partnerships at regional and local levels. The LSTA Partnership Survey indicated the great value of library system and local library collaborations with others in carrying out LSTA-funded activities.
  • Seek out grant opportunities, especially for technology and training. Significant work was done during the evaluation period; however, technologies are constantly evolving. Insufficient broadband services also remain in many parts of the state, preventing full access to NOVELNY and other electronic resources provided by libraries.
  • Further the OBE Initiative through continued training, online resources and support. The State Library, library systems and libraries need impact data to show their value and to compete for limited funds in difficult economic times. The incorporation of OBE also strengthens the State Library’s grant applications.
  • Continue to provide Service Improvement Grants to library systems. The programs and services developed met the systems’ unique needs and those of their member libraries and communities. They fostered innovation and better customer service, allowing systems to implement new ideas, methods and technologies.
  • Offer online training to librarians via webinars, teleconferences and videoconferencing. Self-paced, multi-lesson online courses offered through the State Library’s Training on the Go pilot project were not sufficiently used to justify the cost. Many courses were never completed. Webinars and teleconferences, however, were consistently used and well-received.
  • Strengthen State Library public education and promotion regarding the value of library services. The State Library is not alone in experiencing staffing and funding constraints. Many library systems and libraries across New York State are dealing with cuts amidst an economic downturn. In addition, NOVELNY is fully funded through LSTA (New York is one of the few remaining states without state funding for statewide subscriptions to electronic information resources). Informing policymakers of the value of libraries and statewide services such as NOVELNY, providing training to library professionals and trustees and working closely with library advocacy groups are all activities that should be continued and expanded.

BACKGROUND:

The LSTA Evaluation was conducted to provide the State Library with a comprehensive review of its LSTA-funded activities specified in the State Library’s current Five-Year Plan (2007-2012). The process was guided by the following key questions:

  • Were the activities in the Five-Year LSTA Plan carried out? Were the target outputs and outcomes achieved?
  • What activities were particularly successful in meeting the goals of the Five-Year LSTA Plan? Why?
  • What activities were not successful in meeting the goals? Why? What challenges arose?
  • Did the activities support the LSTA priorities? What progress was made in implementing the Recommendations of the 2000 Regents Commission Report?
  • What role did partnerships play in carrying out LSTA-funded activities?

The State Library will use this evaluation report as a starting point for writing its next Five-Year LSTA Plan. The findings will help guide the development of new goals, activities and targets. Stakeholders, such as IMLS, library systems and policymakers, will also be able to review and use the report. Other state library agencies may find it helpful to review the State Library’s evaluation findings while developing similar programs and services for their library systems and libraries.

METHODOLOGY:

The State Library commissioned an independent evaluator, Amanda R. Latreille, M.S.I.S., of AmaLat Consulting, to conduct and write the Five-Year LSTA Evaluation. Mrs. Latreille is a librarian and Certified OBE Trainer. In addition to training approximately 200 library staff in OBE since 2005, she has also completed multiple statewide evaluation projects for the State Library.

Reports, statistics and other relevant documents from the last five years were provided by State Library staff for review by the evaluator, beginning in September 2011. The evaluator interviewed several staff members from the State Library’s Division of Library Development and the Research Library regarding the activities outlined in the Five-Year LSTA Plan. An LSTA Partnership Survey, developed by State Library staff and the evaluator, was also distributed to all 73 library system directors in New York State in November 2011 (see Appendix #5), and results were collected and analyzed by the evaluator. The survey was developed to ascertain the use and value of partnerships in LSTA-funded projects, such as NOVELNY, Summer Reading at New York Libraries and Service Improvement Grants. Sixty-one of the 73 library systems completed the survey for an 84-percent response rate (see Appendix #3). Results of the 2012 State Library Opinion Survey were also reviewed (see Appendix #6). The survey was part of a multi-state Gates Foundation-supported project. More than 700 respondents from all types of libraries participated. The total cost of the evaluation was $24,860. This includes the evaluator’s fee, as well as State Library staff time.

The incorporation of OBE is a significant strength of the evaluation. The Five-Year LSTA Plan was written with target outcomes. Many of these were explored and measured, and target audience benefits were determined. In addition, several State Library programs, such as those with library staff training components, were subsequently developed and evaluated using OBE elements. Outcome data detailing the successes and challenges of these projects is included as well. This work was done as part of the State Library’s ongoing OBE Initiative.

FINDINGS:                                              

GOAL #1:

All New Yorkers will have reliable, electronic access to high-quality information resources through the expansion of NOVELNY and through enhancement of libraries’ technology capabilities to meet users’ information needs. (Status: Made Progress)
___________________________________________

Activity #1/Targets: Implement a comprehensive NOVELNY communication plan to better inform New Yorkers about NOVELNY services available through local libraries. (Status: Completed)

The first recommendation of the Regents Commission Report is the creation of NOVELNY (previously known as NOVEL and EmpireLink). First started in 1999, the project is now in its thirteenth year. Through NOVELNY, the State Library has provided New Yorkers with free access to an electronic collection of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias and other database resources through local libraries and remote locations such as home, school and office (see NOVELNY).

In 2006, the State Library developed the Statewide Education and Information Program to better promote NOVELNY. The initiative was based on recommendations from the NOVELNY Steering Committee, an advisory group established in 2002 representing all types of libraries and library systems across the state. At the time, use statistics were increasing, but evaluation findings indicated that the majority of New Yorkers were still unaware of NOVELNY. To carry out the Statewide Education and Information Program, the State Library awarded a contract to an independent consulting firm. The firm developed a comprehensive communication plan, which resulted in three key outputs: (1) a revised logo; (2) a revised website; and (3) a revised toolkit with sample bookmarks, brochures and mailers in both English and Spanish. More information about the NOVELNY website and toolkit

The State Library also partnered with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Promotional NOVELNY inserts were placed in vehicle registration and driver license renewals (as the databases can be accessed with a driver license or non-driver identification number). Two million inserts in both English and Spanish were distributed. Social networking was also used to further promote the project. In 2010, a NOVELNY Facebook page was launched by the State Library, providing users with project news, training opportunities, online resources and discussion threads linking users. The growing site included more than 530 likes as of December 2011.

The Statewide Education and Information Program concluded in 2010. An online survey was conducted by the State Library at this time. Users of novelnewyork.org were asked to complete the survey, and 80 responses were received, with the majority of respondents age 35 to 64 (78-percent). Results showed that users learned of NOVELNY from a wide variety of sources, including through the Department of Motor Vehicles (13-percent). Forty-four (or 55-percent) logged in using a public library card, and 36 (or 45-percent) logged in using a driver or non-driver identification number. The majority logged in from home (51-percent), 31-percent logged in from work and 18-percent from a library. Roughly half (52-percent) found the information they were looking for. Subject areas ranged (33-percent health, 31-percent newspapers, 29-percent general reference, 26-percent history, 21-percent science, 18-percent business and 29-percent indicated other subjects). Overall, this survey snapshot supports the importance of widespread NOVELNY promotion and partnerships, as well as ongoing training efforts to ensure users can successfully use NOVELNY. Targets related to New York residents’ awareness of NOVELNY were not measured, as the telephone survey was not carried out due to staffing limitations.

In 2011, close to 5,600 libraries were registered to participate in NOVELNY (up from 2006 levels by approximately 200 libraries). It is important to note that the State Library updated its NOVELNY-Ready Library Services Table twice during the evaluation period, first in 2008 and then in 2011. In 2011, the table was changed to include the recognition of mobile applications and updated connection speeds.  More information about the Services Table.

Use of NOVELNY databases continues to grow with annual searches at 42.5 million between July 2010 and June 2011, compared to 25.6 million from July 2006 to June 2007. The State Library set a goal of 50 million searches for 2012. The five most popular databases include: (1) Primary Search, with full-text articles from school magazines plus almanacs, an encyclopedia and dictionary, including lexile levels (29-percent of use); (2) Gale’s OneFile, with full-text articles from magazines, peer-reviewed journals and news and reference sources on a wide range of topics (21-percent). (3) Custom/New York State Newspapers, with full-text articles from local, state and national newspapers (18-percent); (4) Business and Company Resource Center, with company and brand information (9-percent); and (5) Health Reference Center Academic, with health and medical information for providers and consumers (7-percent). These trends illustrate the widespread NOVELNY user base. The State Library Opinion Survey distributed by the State Library in early 2012 further supported these findings, as respondents gave NOVELNY the highest importance rating out of a list of statewide services currently provided by the State Library.

Activity #2/Targets: Expand NOVELNY to include research databases for the academic, research and business communities. (Status: No Progress)

During the evaluation period, research level content available through NOVELNY was not increased. Flat funding was the primary reason. Two bills were proposed to provide monies for the purchase of access to additional research databases, one by the State Library and one by NYSHEI. However, these have not passed. New York State continues to lag behind the vast majority of states in providing state funding for electronic resources. Adding this content is an ongoing goal of the State Library. Another proposed project, the New York State Comprehensive Information System, would build upon NOVELNY by providing collaborative database purchasing and expanding the availability of statewide databases.

Activity #3/Targets: Expand NOVELNY to include more K–12 resources. (Status: Made Progress)

In 2008 and 2010, the Collections Subcommittee of the NOVELNY Steering Committee distributed surveys to collect information from users about NOVELNY content. A general encyclopedia, with student/teacher features such as lexile levels, was added to NOVELNY in 2009. Requests for such a resource ranked highly in the 2008 survey. Also, fun and informative NOVELNY quizzes were used to promote NOVELNY with children and teens during Summer Reading at New York Libraries in 2008 and 2009.

Activity #4/Targets: Partner with library systems to develop a coordinated statewide plan that will expand access to unique digitized materials focused on the history of New York State. (Status: Made Progress)

A statewide plan, titled the New York Digital Collections Initiative was drafted, but never implemented. The portal, a target output, was not developed. A variety of obstacles to carrying out the project arose, including: (1) a lack of consensus among potential partners on their roles and responsibilities; (2) a lack of standardization in digitization systems and specifications across the state making consolidation difficult; and (3) insufficient funding to support the staffing needed to complete digitization tasks. In addition, the State Library’s Hyperion system for storing and accessing digital images was no longer supported by Sirsi, the vendor. ArchivalWare was acquired as a replacement, with implementation currently taking place in 2012. The New York Heritage Project was developed by the reference and research library resources systems as a beginning statewide collection of digitization materials, and the State Library is a contributing partner.

Activity #5/Targets: Develop opportunities and expand partnerships with other units within state government, private industry and the nonprofit sector to expand the NOVELNY program. (Status: Made Progress)

During the evaluation period, the State Library developed multiple partnerships to promote and increase use of the NOVELNY databases. In addition to the very successful partnership with the Department of Motor Vehicles previously described, the State Library collaborated with NYSED’s Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES) on its Literacy Zones Initiative. The target of including NOVELNY on NYSED’s Virtual Learning System (VLS) occurred, via a link to the State Library’s website on the VLS homepage. Also, adding the JobNow resource to NOVELNY in September 2011 led to State Library partnerships with the New York State Department of Labor and Small Business Administration. Funded through the Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary Grant, JobNow provides expert resume help, real-time interview coaching and career advice. JobNow’s Adult Learning Center features test preparation, writing assistance and study tools for math, reading and writing, with live assistance offered in both English and Spanish.

Activity #6/Targets: Create a new NOVELNY website to deliver NOVELNY services more effectively. (Status: Completed)

A key output of the Statewide Education and Information Program was a revised NOVELNY website. In 2007, the new and improved site was launched. A consulting firm developed the site in consultation with the NOVELNY Steering Committee. Materials from the State Library’s NOVELNY site were integrated into the revised site, and for the first time, there was a single NOVELNY site for the public and the library community. In June 2008, a usability study of the NOVELNY website was conducted by the Human Computer Interaction Lab at the State University of New York at Albany. In 2009, further enhancements were made to the website based on findings from this study.

General features of the website include: (1) direct access to the NOVELNY databases with New York State driver license or non-driver identification number; (2) additional access options via public, school, college or institutional library sites; (3) a keyword search and alphabetical list of the databases and available magazines and newspapers; (4) a press room detailing the latest NOVELNY news and updates; and (5) user frequently asked questions. The site also features a separate section designed to assist library staff with NOVELNY registration, set up, use and promotion. The revised NOVELNY toolkit, the third output of the Statewide Education and Information Program, is housed here. Sample bookmarks, brochures and mailers are available in both English and Spanish. Tips for distributing the toolkit and information about database training are included.

The NOVELNY website experienced increased use during the evaluation period. From July 2010 to June 2011, there were 432,445 novelnewyork.org page views. Also, from July 2010 to June 2011, there were 198,989 views of the toolkit, up from 67,153 from July 2007 to June 2008. Currently, there is no way to measure the number of libraries using the toolkit, as the necessary IP data is not available (toolkit use by 1,000 libraries was a target).

Activity #7/Targets: Partner with public library systems, school library systems, reference and research library systems and database vendors to provide NOVELNY training to the library community. (Status: Made Progress)

Training for library staff in NOVELNY is important to the ongoing growth and success of the project. From June 2005 to September 2008, Phase Two of the State Library’s Staying Connected Grant Program provided NOVELNY training, funded by the Gates Foundation. A total of 228 database workshops were held for 1,077 library staff members. Pre and post-tests were used to evaluate searching skills. They showed more efficient use of the databases through an increase in connection time, but a decrease in the pages searched to achieve the desired information. In addition, libraries that had sent staff to NOVELNY training showed increases in annual NOVELNY use statistics.  As staff felt more comfortable and confident in their knowledge of the databases, they in turn were able to teach library patrons how to access and use the databases. In 2008, the State Library added NOVELNY webinars that were also well received. Six were offered for a total of 94 participants.

Also during the evaluation period, NOVELNY database vendors offered 163 training sessions for 1,759 participants. A Five-Year LSTA Plan target stated that at least 50-percent of library and library system staff members who have attended NOVELNY training will indicate that they feel confident in promoting and facilitating NOVELNY use. While this data was not collected for all trainings, evaluation results of a vendor-delivered training done in 2011 provide a snapshot and support this target. Of the 15 survey respondents, 15 (or 100-percent) stated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the following statement: I can use the product(s) more effectively than I could before I attended today's training. All 15 also felt satisfied or very satisfied that the training content was relevant to his/her needs and/or job. One participant wrote: Thank you for providing the opportunity. I'm looking forward to participating in more of the online database training sessions. This was the first one I attended, and I found it very helpful.

These initiatives brought documented NOVELNY training to a total of 2,930 participants (significantly below the target of 5,000). However, this number does not include the multiple trainings offered through LSTA Service Improvement Grants and library systems and training sessions offered by individual libraries to their patrons. The State Library continues to offer vendor-delivered NOVELNY training. In terms of all technology-related staff training, Public Library System Annual Report data showed 14,032 training sessions were held from 2007-2008 to 2010-2011 for a total of 116,425 participants.

Activity #8/Targets: Coordinate with the Gates Foundation, WebJunction and public library systems in the implementation of Gates/WebJunction Initiatives to sustain public access computing for all New Yorkers at local public libraries. (Status: Made Progress)

The State Library continued to partner extensively with the Gates Foundation during the evaluation period (see the Gates Library Initiative website). As a result, the State Library offered the following four Gates Foundation Grant Programs to New York’s public libraries: (1) Staying Connected Phase Two; (2) Spanish Language Outreach; (3) Opportunity Online Hardware; and (4) Opportunity Online Broadband. All programs were rooted in sustaining public access computing in public libraries.

Staying Connected Phase Two followed Staying Connected Phase One (completed in 2006). Phase Two provided New York’s 23 public library systems with a total of $252,770 for the purpose of enhancing and expanding technology training for member library staff assisting with public access computing. Systems needed to match 50-percent in the form of services, materials and/or staff time. All 23 systems participated. Systems offered regional training in current and emerging technologies, such as Microsoft applications, Adobe Photoshop, Web 2.0, social networking, gaming, chat reference, web design, security software and wireless networks. The State Library also provided the following statewide training as part of Staying Connected Phase Two: (1) OBE training to assist systems in developing technology training plans; (2) a pilot Training on the Go program through a partnership with NYLA; (3) Web 2.0 and social networking workshops; (4) NOVELNY database training); and (5) a teleconference series in technology training and management by the College of DuPage. From June 2005 to September 2008, a total of 1,551 training sessions were offered through Staying Connected Phase Two. A total of 10,069 library staff members representing 1,100 library buildings participated. For example, systems provided 610 workshops in current and emerging technologies for 5,841participants. Participant surveys from these trainings indicated that 50 to 88-percent of attendees felt at least 50-percent more confident and capable in using the applications and skills learned during the workshop. The final report with complete outcome data.

The State Library next partnered with the Gates Foundation and WebJunction to offer Spanish Language Outreach, a statewide professional development program consisting of workshops for public library staff members and trustees. The workshops, conducted through the 23 public library systems, were intended to teach participants how to reach out to Spanish speakers and improve their access to library services and public access computing. Other project partners included the Mid-Hudson Library System, NYLA, LTA, and the Public Library System Directors Organization. Prior to the evaluation period, 47 regional workshops were held from October 2006 to May 2007. The regional trainers, mostly public library system staff, had participated in two-day, train-the-trainer workshops during the initial phase of the project. During the evaluation period, a final workshop, Spanish Language Outreach Success Stories, was held as part of NYLA’s Annual Conference in November 2007. The panel discussion provided an opportunity for workshop trainers, participants and others to share information about program accomplishments and challenges. Approximately 800 public library staff and trustees participated in the 48 workshops and other programs held during the Spanish Language Outreach grant period. Written in July 2008, the final report, Spanish Language Outreach Connects New York’s Libraries with Communities, provides multiple examples of how public library staff applied the information and skills learned during the workshops.

The Opportunity Online Hardware Grant Program was the third joint project of the State Library and the Gates Foundation. The program was created to help upgrade public access computing services in libraries that serve high-need communities and were finding it challenging to keep pace with advancements in technology. Grant monies totaling $4.1 million were awarded to 421 public libraries in New York State for the purchase of new hardware for public use. In addition, the program, through technology planning, advocacy training and a match requirement, aimed to help libraries secure funding to sustain hardware upgrades over time. Partners of the project included the Public Library System Directors Organization, NYLA and LTA. A highlight of the project was a comprehensive advocacy training, titled Turning the Page. The two-day workshop was created by the Public Library Association specifically for the grant program. More than 400 library staff members from New York State participated, and at least 100 trustees were present as well. Feedback was very positive. A total of 3,229 public access computers were obtained through the grant, along with other equipment and services.

The State Library used OBE to measure the impact of this grant program. In 2010, the State Library produced the final report, Opportunity Online Hardware Grant: Providing Opportunities Through Public Access Computing. Three key outcomes were measured: (1) participating libraries improve their technology planning and services; (2) participating libraries increase use of their technology services and attract new patrons; and (3) participating libraries successfully seek new funding for technology and build support from new and existing partners. Findings from participant surveys, reports and interviews indicated that the first and second outcomes were achieved in the majority to vast majority of participating libraries (completed surveys were received from 92-percent of the 421 libraries). For the third outcome, 45-percent of survey respondents reported that the grant program assisted the library in seeking new funding for technology and 34-percent reported that their library obtained new ongoing funding for technology. Not only were these libraries able to secure the matching funds, but they were so successful in their efforts that local policymakers saw the need to commit long-term funding for hardware upgrades and maintenance. Additionally, 41-percent felt the program helped the library build upon and strengthen existing partnerships, while 32-percent felt the program helped in establishing new partnerships. The impact report includes numerous participant examples illustrating the program’s key outcomes.

The fourth program, Opportunity Online Broadband, was a pilot project of the Gates Foundation that ran from December 2009 to December 2011. Seven state library agencies, including the New York State Library, participated. Its purpose was to help public libraries create and implement strategies to increase their Internet connections (to at least 1.5 Mbps or faster wherever feasible), and continuously improve connection speeds as needed. NYSL received $947,517 from the Gates Foundation for this initiative. An advisory group was formed, and ten library systems and 65 of their member libraries participated. A statewide Broadband Summit took place in 2009 with more than 300 library staff and local community and state-level leaders participating. The desired result of increased speeds was achieved in all libraries. In addition, the majority of participating libraries developed Broadband Sustainability Plans, with the majority of participants either adding a broadband line item to their budget or changing their technology budget to include broadband costs. Library staff and board members also became significantly more aware and knowledgeable of broadband issues and terminology as a result of the project.

Activity #9/Targets: Coordinate with government agencies that can help libraries with cooperative telecommunications efforts locally and regionally, specifically to create statewide broadband telecommunications access. (Status: Made Progress)

In addition to Opportunity Online Broadband, the State Library received broadband-related grants from two agencies: (1) $235,500 from the New York State Office for Technology for the Universal Broadband Access Grant; and (2) $9.5 million in federal stimulus funds from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration for the Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary Grant. LSTA funds provided State Library staff support for these projects.

Universal Broadband Access provided funding to three rural library systems in New York State from January 2010 to January 2011. The Four County Library System upgraded the satellite for the system’s award-winning mobile library, called the Cybermobile, to enable delivery of book, media and digital collections to rural areas not served by local public libraries. The systems were also able to install member library network management technology to apportion and increase bandwidth. The Mid-York Library System upgraded connectivity at four member libraries and created new broadband Internet services at a fifth library. Lastly, the North Country Library System installed broadband services at one library and developed two wireless relay points for an additional library. In short, the grant brought previously isolated communities access to the Internet and electronic resources, such as NOVELNY, through their local libraries.

Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary has taken a slightly different approach. Started in February 2010, the grant has created 30 PCCs in public libraries and five E-Mobile computer training units. Grant funding has enabled libraries to extend their hours, upgrade connectivity and provide around-the-clock access to job and career-related resources in 41 economically distressed upstate New York counties. To date, hardware and software have been purchased and installed, and libraries are now offering extensive computer classes and one-on-one technical assistance. Progress reports submitted to the State Library indicate increasing use and patrons’ appreciation of the new services. Many include anecdotes about users landing job interviews and/or job offers as a result of using the PCCs or E-Mobile units. Sustainability plans beyond the grant period are now being developed by libraries with assistance from State Library staff. Also to note, Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary was planned and will be evaluated using OBE. For more information, see the OBE Initiative.

Activity #10/Targets: Cooperate with the University of the State of New York (USNY) Technology Practices and Policy Council concerning the effective use of technology in libraries. (Status: Made Progress)

Staff from the State Library served on the USNY Statewide Technology Plan Task Force and the NYSED Technology Policy Planning Committee in 2008 and 2009. The groups helped develop the overall vision, goals and action steps for the USNY Statewide Learning Technology Plan. The State Library provided input and feedback on behalf of the library community. The Board of Regents approved the plan in 2010.

The following is an excerpt from the plan’s vision: The Regents have an urgent need to raise the knowledge, skill and opportunity of all the people of the State of New York. New technologies have created powerful new learning tools which will transform the learning environment for students of all ages. Learning technologies will be seamlessly integrated into teaching and learning to increase student achievement. USNY will use technology to measure performance and communicate results to learners, teachers, leaders and citizens. Through USNY, New York citizens will benefit from technology that brings information and knowledge to improve their lives.

The plan’s goals include: (1) Digital content: Standards-based, accessible digital content supports all curricula for all learners; (2) Digital use: Learners, teachers and administrators are proficient in the use of technology for learning; (3) Digital Capacity and Access:  New York’s technology infrastructure supports learning and teaching in all environments; (4) Leadership: USNY institutions are united in realizing the vision; (5) Accountability: Information is easy to obtain and understand about the results achieved by New Yorkers in their efforts to build knowledge, master skills and grasp opportunities for a better life; and (6) Funding: Adequate funding is coordinated, equitably distributed and sustainable. Many State Library programs, such as NOVELNY, strongly support implementation of the USNY Statewide Learning Technology Plan.

Activity #11/Targets: Support libraries’, public library systems’ and reference and research library systems’ efforts to secure E-rate telecommunications discounts. (Status: Made Progress)

The E-rate Program provides libraries in New York State with telecommunication discounts, improving user access to electronic information through stronger and more reliable connections. The State Library continues to provide libraries and library systems with assistance from a designated E-rate Program Coordinator and website (see E-rate web page). NYSED has also continued to contract with E-Rate Central to provide expert help with the E-rate filing process. E-Rate Central offers assistance to libraries via weekly newsletters, online resources and in-person training, as well as help desk support via telephone and email. The State Library’s 2012 State Library Opinion Survey respondents gave E-rate help the highest importance rating in the technical assistance category, with assistance in public and association library-specific issues and assistance with services for customers with special needs also in the top three.

In 2010, public library systems and reference and research library systems submitted their three-year technology plans for review and approval by the State Library, with assistance from E-Rate Central. Member library technology plans were submitted and approved by library systems in the same year. Total E-rate discounts in New York State have steadily increased during the evaluation period: (1) in 2007, $9 million; (2) in 2008, $10.5 million; (3) in 2009, $11.1 million; and (4) in 2010, $12.2 million. The annual average of $10.7 million greatly exceeds the target output in the Five-Year LSTA Plan by more than $3 million. The distribution of funding for 2011 is still underway. As of October 2011, a total of 332 libraries and library systems have received a total of $5 million. It is expected that additional libraries and library systems will receive discounts for 2011. 

Activity #12/Targets: As funding permits, offer technology grant programs to enhance library staff and patron skills, to enhance library systems’ and central libraries’ technology capabilities to meet users’ information needs and to expand technology and resource sharing. (Status: Made Progress)

During the evaluation period, the State Library offered three sets of LSTA Service Improvement Grants to library systems. The grants are intended to support New York’s library systems and specifically, their work in helping member libraries improve programs and services for library users. Grant projects must be linked to one or more of the four goals in State Library’s Five-Year LSTA Plan and to one or more of the federal LSTA purposes. The projects must also tie into the library system’s Five-Year Plan of Service. Grant monies totaling $3.2 million were provided through the program from 2007-2012, and systems provided $4.3 million in in-kind contributions.

Many Service Improvement Grants approved during this time period included significant technology and resource sharing-related improvements. The following are six examples demonstrating the variety of projects funded: (1) Broome-Tioga BOCES School Library System’s 2008 Regional Resource Sharing updated the regional online catalog and added NOVELNY search capabilities; (2) Capital District Library Council’s 2008-2010 Digitization Project included training for library staff in digitization standards and managing digital collections; (3) Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System’s 2008-2010 E-Seniors in the Driver’s Seat offered programming in public libraries to build seniors’ computer skills; (4) Nassau BOCES School Library System’s 2008 Podcasting at NBSLS provided workshops in developing podcasts for use in school curriculums; (5) The New York Public Library’s 2008 Hispanic Community Outreach enhanced services to this population, including bilingual basic computer classes; and (6) Rochester Regional Library System’s 2010-2012 Libraries Exploring New Ideas and Technologies included hand-on training to library staff on databases, e-readers, resource sharing and social networking.

Activity #13/Targets: Improve access for all New Yorkers to all holdings of the State Library, the State Museum and the State Archives. (Status: Made Progress)

In 2010, the State Library upgraded its online catalog interface from WebCat to e-Library (this includes the catalog for the New York State Archives and Museum). The upgrade provides new features, including: (1) enhanced index and full-text searching; and (2) online accounts for users to manage holds, interlibrary loans and favorites tracking. State Library staff also enhanced older bibliographic records by adding additional access points. Approximately 350,000 records were updated during the evaluation period. The target of converting 25-percent of the State Library’s high-use holdings to digital format by 2012 was greatly exceeded. Forty-two out of 115 items identified by the Collection Development Committee were converted for public access (or 37-percent).

Activity #14/Targets: Expand access to electronic information provided by the State Library both onsite and through the library’s website. (Status: Made Progress)

In 2008, work began on a redesign of the entire NYSED website. This global site includes the State Library site, and State Library staff became involved in the process early on. For the next year, files were updated and converted to reflect the new look and style, and in 2009, the new site was officially launched. The redesign provided four key enhancements: (1) uniform branding across the site including a new NYSED banner and State Library logo; (2) a consistent navigation scheme from page to page; (3) improved searching results for users; and (4) more efficient behind-the-scenes management.

The previous State Library website used a Google product as its search engine. Since this worked well, it was continued. Staff focused on improving search results. An initial inventory was conducted in which unnecessary, redundant and outdated files were identified and removed. Within the Research Library, approximately 2,700 files were deleted. Hundreds of other files were updated and/or consolidated (the work is ongoing). NYSED also created guidelines that included using valid HTML and cascading style sheets, thus improving usability and accessibility. All pages are now required to have descriptive titles and meta tags. Behind-the-scenes, the new website is now managed entirely by Dreamweaver. The application offers many tools, such as templates and style sheets, which assist staff in maintaining a consistent look. A few additional State Library staff members also learned how to use Dreamweaver to directly update pages that relate to their work, helping to keep site information as current as possible.

The State Library included a feedback form in the website’s footer. When the launch was first announced in 2009, users were encouraged to complete the form. Yet, very few responses have been received to date (the feedback form is still available). Respondents indicated that they like the new design. Other feedback led to minor changes and corrections. During the evaluation period, use statistics increased significantly. This may be due to the new design or added content. General page views in 2007 totaled 7.2 million and in 2011, they reached 8.9 million (up 24-percent). This output is slightly less than the original target of a 5-percent increase in use annually.

Onsite, State Library staff offered one-on-one assistance with electronic resources, as well as workshops. From 2007-2011, 73 programs were conducted in the State Library’s computer lab, with topics ranging from the State Library’s website and catalog to electronic resources. Thirty-one of these programs were held specifically for organizations and community groups interested in using online grant resources. Also to note, the State Library’s electronic resources increased from approximately 20,000 full-text journals and newspapers in 2008 to approximately 30,000 in 2011, meeting the Five-Year LSTA Plan target of a 50-percent increase by 2012. The State Library is switching to online only subscriptions, as appropriate. In 2011, for example, 607 journals were switched to online (either from a print or print and online subscription).

Activity #15/Targets: Evaluate the search capabilities added to NOVELNY and the library’s database collection through federated searching during a usability study and survey, share the results with other libraries in New York, make recommendations and plan for continuation beyond the pilot phase. (Status: Completed/Not Continued)

Phase One of the NOVELNY Pilot Portal Project began in 2005, with the State Library and 14 libraries participating across the state. Phase Two continued in 2006 with four libraries. The project was not offered statewide due to funding restrictions. The project successfully demonstrated that a customized federated searching product could simultaneously search locally subscribed resources and library catalogs, as well as the NOVELNY databases. In addition, the project showed that the pilot libraries could utilize a local authentication scheme instead of asking users to enter their driver license or non-driver identification number. The pilot concluded in 2007. Federated searching of NOVELNY continued through the State Library until September 2010, when the NOVELNY Steering Committee voted to discontinue the service. The committee determined that the usage did not justify the cost.

Activity #16/Targets: Enhance access to full-text electronic federal and New York State documents, Research Library holdings and databases through an OpenURL link resolver and the expanded indexing and conversion of holdings to digital formats. (Status: Made Progress)

The State Library implemented Serials Solutions’ Article Linker, an OpenURL link resolver, in 2007. WebFeat was also upgraded to WebFeat Express for enhanced federated searching. Staff scanned 326,292 pages of New York State documents and downloaded 4,940 born-digital New York State documents from 2009-2011. An additional 52,061 pages of historic documents and special collections materials were also digitized.

Activity #17/Targets: Participate in consortia to expand State Library holdings of electronic resources such as e-books and databases. (Status: Made Progress)

During the evaluation period, the State Library participated in three consortia to reduce costs of electronic resources. These include: (1) Partners in Information and Innovation (Pi2); (2) Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization (WALDO); and (3) Nylink (closed June 2011).

Activity #18/Targets: Expand online provisions for ILL at the State Library and replace current ILL management software. (Status: Completed)

As planned, the State Library’s ILL software was replaced during the evaluation period. Until 2007, RLG’s ILL Manager software was used to process requests. That software was discontinued and the State Library installed ILLiad. In 2008, the State Library also joined the Information Delivery Services (IDS) Project, a mutually supportive resource-sharing cooperative within New York State whose members include more than 60 public and private academic libraries, The New York Public Library and the State Library. Participation increased the number of requests received from other IDS libraries.

In 2010, the State Library installed the Getting It System Toolkit (GIST) from IDS, a customizable set of tools and workflows that can enhance ILL and just-in-time acquisitions services, purchase request processing and cooperative collection development efforts. GIST was designed to transform the business of borrowing, buying and accessing by providing library users and staff with practical and thoughtful resolution of disparate information sources with key data such as: (1) uniqueness (for cooperative collection development strategies); (2) free online sources (to reduce cost and/or catalog e-books just-in-time); (3) reviews and rankings (to add value to the request process); and (4) purchasing options and prices (to give users and libraries options and streamline library work). GIST also includes a Gift & De-Selection Manager so subject selectors can use ISBN, OCLC number or title to find the information needed to make quick decisions while processing gifts and de-selecting materials.

The above activities have contributed to an increase in ILL use at the State Library. See the following chart:

ILL Statistics, 2010-2011

ILL requests to lend to other libraries

28,844 (up 64-percent from 2007)

ILL requests filled for other libraries

20,628 (up 56-percent from 2007)

ILL requests to borrow for State Library patrons

1,828 (up 76-percent from 2007)

ILL requests filled for State Library patrons

1,646 (up 84-percent from 2007)

ILL services for New York State correctional facilitates

29,682 (up 138-percent from 2007)

Supporting these findings, respondents of the State Library Opinion Survey gave ILL the highest importance rating for Research Library services, with the online catalog and the State Library’s TBBL also in the top three. Also, average turnaround time for all ILL requests was 1.56 days for articles, and 1.91 days for books, remaining within the target of two days. The State Library does not keep separate statistics for Manuscripts and Special Collections requests, so the target of five days for these requests could not be evaluated.

Activity #19/Targets: Negotiate with publishers and vendors to include provisions for ILL of electronic resources from the State Library to a wider population. (Status: Made Progress)

State Library staff members continued the challenging task of negotiating with publishers and vendors to offer ILL of their electronic resources. Nearly 60-percent of applicable databases currently have ILL provisions, which is roughly the same as it was in 2007.

Activity #20/Targets: Participate in collaborative digital archiving of library material. (Status: Made Progress)

The State Library, along with the New York State Archives, joined the Persistent Digital Archives and Library System (PeDALS) in 2007. Funded by the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program and IMLS, PeDALS was a research project with two goals: (1) to develop a curatorial rationale to support an automated, integrated workflow to process collections of digital publications and records; and (2) to implement digital stacks using an inexpensive, storage network that could preserve the authenticity and integrity of the collections. At the time, the State Library was in the process of migrating to a new platform for accessing their electronic government documents and historical scanned documents collections. Also, the State Library had been using OCLC’s Web Harvester to capture state government websites. PeDALS was seen as an opportunity for the State Library to gain valuable information and experience in digital preservation. Partners first included four other state library agencies: (1) Arizona (lead partner); (2) Florida; (3) South Carolina; and (4) Wisconsin. Alabama and New Mexico later joined the project.

In January 2008, a kickoff meeting for all PeDALS partners was held in Phoenix, Arizona. Representatives from the State Library and the State Archives were present. The project was then managed via an online meeting and collaboration tool. Bi-weekly committee conference calls were held. Various subgroups were established to carry out project tasks. There were also several internal meetings held between the State Library and the State Archives. Staff participated in a second on-site partner meeting in Phoenix in October 2008.

In 2009, the State Library decided to adjust its level of participation in the PeDALS project, from active participant to observer (a role the State Library maintained until the project concluded in December 2011). Several internal and external obstacles led to this decision, including: (1) the extent of technical infrastructure and programming expertise required; (2) loss of staff to reductions in workforce and competing priorities; and (3) the project’s increasing primary focus on archival records as opposed to state government documents. The State Library and the State Archives did not ultimately install the technical infrastructure needed for implementation.

The State Library, however, learned several important lessons through its participation in PeDALS. These include: (1) coordinating with agencies to obtain record and document sets was a time consuming process and required significantly more time and resources than was initially expected; (2) the sets were often contained within legacy and proprietary document management systems at the host agency, each with their own unique set of import issues; (3) most sets that were available to use were scanned as opposed to born digital material, which was the opposite of what was originally anticipated; and (4) metadata development for the project provided a clearer understanding of the commonalities and differences between electronic records and documents and how these influence the systems developed to preserve and access the materials. A final PeDALS report, detailing each partner’s participation, implementation and lessons learned is currently being developed.

Also to note, the State Library partnered with The Generation Network (TGN) from 2008-2011. Through the collaboration, TGN digitized and indexed selected historical materials from the State Library. New York State residents have free, unrestricted access to the materials via Ancestry.com. For example, the State Library sent 116 reels of federal census microfilm to TGN, and TGN scanned the film and generated 85,135 images.

Activity #21/Targets: Develop a model for aggregating statewide library holdings, statewide digitization initiatives and the establishment of statewide trusted digital repositories. (Status: Made Progress)

See the New York Digital Collections Initiative and the New York Heritage Project.

GOAL #2:

All New Yorkers will have improved access to library resources and services that advance and enhance their personal, educational and working lives. (Status: Made Progress)
___________________________________________

Activity #1/Targets: Continue to increase participation in and awareness of New York’s Statewide Summer Reading Program. (Status: Made Progress)

  • Expand partnerships among library systems, public libraries, schools, corporations, the Legislature and others to improve publicity, promotion and usage of New York’s Statewide Summer Reading Program. (Status: Made Progress)
  • Incorporate access to NOVELNY database information and resources into Summer Reading Program planning and educational materials. (Status: Completed)
  • Enhance the Summer Reading Program and streamline its administration through membership in the national CSLP, which includes 41 states. (Status: Completed)

Summer Reading at New York Libraries supports the seventh recommendation of the Regents Commission Report, strengthening the ability of libraries to help users acquire literacy skills. The project’s purpose is to encourage children and teenagers to participate in public library activities during the summer months, in turn fostering a lifelong love of reading and libraries. Research has consistently shown that summer reading programs raise student achievement levels and prevent learning losses while school is not in session. The State Library continues to have a Summer Reading at New York Libraries Coordinator on staff managing all aspects of the project.

In 2007, the State Library joined the CSLP, which is now a national consortium of 50 states, the District of Columbia and two territories. The theme and many of the materials available to New York's public libraries are developed within this collaborative, saving staff time at state, regional and local levels. All 23 public library systems and approximately 1,100 public library outlets in New York State use the theme and materials to develop a customized program addressing their specific community needs. CSLP provides a complete manual for library staff, as well as many downloadable items such as logos, templates, brochures and public service announcements for radio and television. A forum for problem-solving and discussion around program activities is also available to library staff.

In 2009, the State Library hired a consulting firm to assist in promoting Summer Reading at New York Libraries. This work resulted in a clear, statewide message on the importance and fun of summer reading. A new Summer Reading at New York Libraries logo was created, assisting with the customization of CSLP materials for use in New York State. For example, the State Library translates summer reading brochures into multiple languages. To encourage interest in the program, a statewide launch was held in 2010 at the Langston Hughes Library in Queens with several members of the Board of Regents attending. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, the program spokesperson, was introduced and performed the new summer reading theme song. The event was well attended.

Another successful Summer Reading at New York Libraries launch was held at the Plattsburgh Public Library in 2011. The Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and many local dignitaries were present. The local public television station conducted interviews and publicized the event. For 2012, the State Library plans to hold multiple launches across the state.

During the evaluation period, other key State Library partnerships resulted in effective promotion of Summer Reading at New York Libraries. In 2009, the State Library encouraged collaboration between school library media centers and their local public library in support of summer reading through the distribution of a specially created manual for school library partners. This manual continues to be available online (viewed 102,926 times in 2010). The year 2009 included a valuable collaboration with the New York State Legislature. The Assembly’s Summer Reading Challenge is now used to promote summer reading activities at local libraries, and since 2010, the Senate has included Summer Reading at New York Libraries materials along with their reading materials for children.

In 2011, the State Library partnered for the first time with the New York State Broadcasters Association. The reading program’s public service announcement was sent to all commercial stations in New York State and approximately half of the stations aired the message. This resulted in 424 commercial spots during prime time from June to July. The same year, NYSED’s Communications Office sent out a press release announcing Summer Reading at New York Libraries with quotes from the Commissioner of Education and several legislators. NYSED also sent out email blasts to the statewide school community containing summer reading updates, and the State Library met with School District Superintendents. Additional new partners include the New York Council for the Humanities and 4-H.

While the State Library continues to look for opportunities to expand collaboration and promotion at the state level, local partnerships are also highly encouraged. The State Library and public library systems, with assistance from CSLP materials, helped library staff members collaborate with local schools and community organizations, groups and businesses. For example, Public Library Systems’ Youth Consultants, as a group, developed a three-year plan beginning in 2011 to encourage every local library to partner with its community’s schools on summer reading. In addition, the Summer Reading Reaches Persistently Low Achieving School Communities brochure presented to the Board of Regents Cultural Education Committee in March 2011 provides several examples of summer reading efforts and partnerships at the local level.

A new promotional tool for local libraries was also added in 2011, conceived and implemented by the State Library’s Summer Reading at New York Libraries Coordinator. As part of the CSLP, teens across the country were invited to enter a contest and submit a short video promoting the program. Each state selected a winner, and these videos were posted online for use by all libraries. The contest was such a success in 2011 that it is again being offered in 2012. The 2011 winning teen videos can be viewed. Reaching teens has been an ongoing challenge for many public libraries and the contest serves as an effective starting point.

Other significant State Library summer reading activities include: (1) the creation and distribution of a New York State history and cultural program manual and reading lists in 2009, in celebration of the Quadricentennial of the voyages of Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain see the (2012 Explore New York reading lists) ; (2) the development of a regularly updated research brief and annotated bibliography that has been used nationally, titled The Importance of Summer Reading: Public Library Summer Reading Programs and Learning; (3) the addition of online registration services in 2010, enabling children and teens, especially in rural areas, to participate and track their reading remotely (183 libraries participated in  2011); and (4) a continued summer reading web presence through the general program website, the State Library’s summer reading resource website and the popular Performers and Programs: A Database Resource of Entertaining and Educational Programs developed through an LSTA grant in 2007. The State Library has also provided Summer Reading Program Mini Grants to public library systems each year of the evaluation period, funding staff training, outreach, promotion, special programs and materials. From 2008-2011, a total of $876,000 in LSTA funds was awarded for 92 projects, with systems contributing a total of $2.6 million in in-kind. Grant descriptions.

All of the above activities, but particularly the partnership and promotional efforts at both state and local levels, have helped the State Library exceed the target of 1.5 million Summer Reading at New York Libraries participants. In 2011 participation totaled 1.65 million, up from 1.3 million in 2007. The State Library’s 2012 target is 1.8 million. See the participation chart.

Also to note, NOVELNY was incorporated into summer reading materials for 2008 and 2009. A total of 3,631 children and teens took part in fun and informative quizzes linked to NOVELNY. They were designed to improve the user’s awareness of NOVELNY and database searching skills. A database vendor allowed users to access one of the student databases without logging in to make this activity possible, but unfortunately, the vendor no longer permitted this after 2009. The State Library is currently exploring other ways in which NOVELNY can be promoted and used with Summer Reading at New York Libraries.

Activity #2/Targets: Participate in the USNY Cabinet on Early Education to encourage public libraries to promote public library programs that foster parental involvement in home literacy activities for school readiness. (Status: Made Progress)

The USNY Cabinet on Early Education is made up of representatives from NYSED (including State Library staff), the Council on Children and Families and United Way of New York State. Its mission is to create a common language, common goals and expected results, and to promote sharing of resources and strategies among providers of programs that teach adults how to create a positive learning environment for children from birth. In 2007, the group’s Bridging the Achievement Gap was proposed to the Board of Regents. The project aimed to connect families to public libraries and public television through community agencies and organizations who work with very young, high-risk children. However, the proposal was not approved by the State Legislature. The group is currently revisiting its priorities and a statewide meeting for educators (known as the B12 group for birth to age 12) is planned for 2012.

Related targets from the Five-Year LSTA Plan include increased early literacy programs at public libraries (10-percent per year). This target was not achieved, but a significant increase was noted. In 2007, 506 libraries offered early literacy programs, and 575 offered them in 2010 (14-percent increase). The theme for the State-funded Family Literacy Grants for 2009-2011 was early literacy.  English as a Second Language (ESL) programs are also directly related to family literacy. The evaluation determined that 121 libraries offered ESL programs in 2007, and 152 offered them in 2010 (up 26-percent, slightly less than the target of 10-percent annually). Lastly, the target of after-school and homework help programs could not be measured as this data is not currently obtained through the Annual Reports submitted by public libraries in New York State. However, some informal surveying of public library systems found that many libraries are offering these programs. For instance, The New York Public Library offers homework help via Homework NYC and Dial-A-Teacher programs at its more than 80 branches.

Activity #3/Targets: Partner with school and public library systems to increase awareness of New York State’s two regional and one sub-regional Talking Book and Braille Libraries to increase significantly the number of New Yorkers with print-related disabilities who use this special library service. (Status: Made Progress)

New Yorkers are served by two regional Talking Book and Braille Libraries. These libraries are part of the national network that makes up the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The State Library’s TBBL serves residents in the 55 upstate counties. LSTA funds are not used to support TBBL operations. However, LSTA monies are used to support Division of Library Development staff time for promoting TBBL services in conjunction with the State Library’s Coordinated Outreach Services Program. Information about the libraries and their services is consistently shared with school and public library systems and the general library community, through listservs, newsletters and statewide meetings, such as the annual Public Library System Outreach Coordinators Meeting. This work has become increasingly important as TBBL staffing levels dropped significantly from 2009-2011, due primarily to funding losses, and TBBL’s outreach activities subsequently decreased. TBBL can now only exhibit at a couple of free, local events each year. To further awareness and promotion within these constraints, a TBBL staff member began participating in the monthly Public Library System Outreach Coordinators Conference Call in 2012. Though overall TBBL circulation decreased during the evaluation period, use of new technologies are rapidly increasing. In 2009, digital books were first offered, and in 2011, 196,612 digital books circulated. In 2010, the Braille and Audio Reading Download Service began, with downloads at 17,530 for 2011.

Activity #4/Targets: Provide 2-1-1 Initiative information and updates to libraries via State Library listservs and web pages; support and promote the initiative through the 2-1-1 Policy Board’s library representative. (Status: Completed)

During the evaluation period, the State Library supported and promoted the 2-1-1 Initiative. The program provides callers with access to confidential health and human services information and referral at no cost. In 2007, State Library staff served on the 2-1-1 New York Collaborative, sharing in the development of the project and representing the library community.  The State Library also provided a letter of support for the initiative and created a 2-1-1 information page on the State Library website. In 2008, the State Library assisted the group in appointing a new library representative to the committee, as it was no longer possible for the State Library to participate due to staffing constraints. The State Library continued to maintain the 2-1-1 webpage and share information as the initiative established regional locations and 2-1-1 access in more areas of New York State. From 2009-2011, the State Library continued to provide 2-1-1 updates and information to the library community, primarily via statewide listservs. With the program now in place, the State Library phased out of this work. 

Also to note, the State Library joined another project with similar goals, titled Help Wanted. Developed by two New York State public television stations, the grant-funded television series addresses the current economic crisis and its effects on New York families and individuals. Help Wanted focuses on the stories, needs, issues and solutions for specific job seekers. It also explores resources for workforce development including re-training for a new career, consumer protection and family finances. The series airs statewide on nine public television stations, and the series has an informational website. Help Wanted website users can follow links to the State Library’s website for information about their local public library, as libraries provide valuable resources to job seekers.

Activity #5/Targets: Partner with reference and research library resources systems to promote and enhance their services to special client populations. (Status: Made Progress)

LSTA funds have been used for many reference and research library resources systems’ digitization projects. This work can be viewed on the New York Heritage Project website. From the site: New York Heritage is a research portal for students, educators, historians, genealogists and others who are interested in learning more about the people, places and institutions of historical New York State. The site provides immediate free access to more than 160 distinct digital collections that reflect New York State's long history. These collections represent a broad range of historical, scholarly and cultural materials held in libraries, museums and archives throughout the state. Collection items include photographs, letters, diaries, directories, maps, newspapers, books and more. 

State Library staff also met with NNLM/MAR in December 2007 and again in 2008. The State Library facilitated a conference call among the library system directors and the NNLM/MAR director to discuss grant and continuing education opportunities, as well as consortial database purchasing. The systems were successful in obtaining  NNLM/MAR grants, and specifically, the State Library and the Rochester Regional Library Council were each awarded funds to target unaffiliated health professionals via outreach and training. In addition, the State Library partners with the reference and research library resources systems on the State-funded Medical Information Services Program.

Activity #6/Targets: Increase the visibility of State Library programs and services available to all New Yorkers. (Status: Made Progress)

During the evaluation period, the State Library took advantage of opportunities to promote programs and services online. As mentioned previously, the State Library website was completely redesigned. An improved look and enhanced searching were both achieved. A streamlined NOVELNY site was developed. The State Library is also using social media for promotion as evidenced by the State Library and NOVELNY Facebook pages. The State Library Facebook page was created in December 2010 and has 201 likes as of December 2011. Research Library information, upcoming events and news are regularly posted here. Users can also leave comments and interest is growing. A video of State Library services was produced and is shown regularly in the Cultural Education Center lobby.

New partnerships also resulted in increased visibility. For example, the State Library partnered with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to distribute NOVELNY inserts with vehicle registration and driver license renewals. Summer Reading at New York Libraries also grew due to increased public promotion by partners such as the New York State Broadcasters Association. As previously mentioned, many of their stations aired a public service announcement advertising the program in 2011.

The Research Library increased visibility through outreach and programming. Eighty-nine public programs were offered onsite from October 2007 to September 2011, and 65 were provided at other locations. With an average of 39 programs provided each year, this exceeds the target of 30 annually. The Research Library began offering public programming on Saturdays as well. Customized training was held for a variety of organizations and groups, such as the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce, the American Association of Grant Professionals, and the Capital District Community Foundation. In addition, the Research Library exhibited at 57 conferences and events from October 2007 to December 2011, with the majority business and professional in nature (the target was 10). It is important to note, however, that three librarians responsible for planning programs and conducting outreach were laid off at the end of 2010, impacting the Research Library’s ability to carry out these activities from that point on.

The target output of registered borrowers was measured. In 2007-2008, the State Library had 14,466 individual borrowers. In 2010-2011, there were 17,622 (up 22-percent). In addition, more than 3,500 borrowers were deleted during this time, as their cards had been expired for at least five years. Therefore, the target increase of 5-percent growth each year was surpassed (it appears the target total of 25,600 borrowers in the Five-Year LSTA Plan was an over-estimation).

Activity #7/Targets: Expand use of State Library resources by providing timely access to Research Library collections and information. (Status: Made Progress)

In addition to the many access improvements mentioned elsewhere in this report, such as enhancements to the website, online catalog, ILL services and digitized collections, the Research Library began offering Saturday public hours in October 2010 (slightly later than the target of 2009 due to labor issues and union concerns). The Research Library is now open 48 hours per week, versus the previous 40. Onsite public visits grew from 47,735 in 2009-2010 to 67,475 in 2010-2011 (up 41-percent, greatly exceeding the annual target of 5-percent). The State Library continued its borrowing privileges for New York State residents. In 2009, borrower’s card application information on the State Library website was revised and downloadable copies of borrower card applications were added. Patrons are able to send requests for materials located in the Research Library stacks via email, fax, telephone, through the online catalog or in-person. During the week, Research Library staff members respond to closed stack requests every half hour. On Saturdays, staff members retrieve materials as needed. With the loss of reference librarians due to layoffs and retirements (without replacements) in 2010, the two-day standard for answering reference questions was not achieved as consistently in 2011. Previously, the majority of questions were answered within 48 hours. The cataloging target of 1,000 items per year was not achieved due to staffing cuts in this department as well.

Activity #8/Targets: Expand and develop website content relating to State Library collections and services. (Status: Made Progress)

More than 140 new finding aids were added to the State Library website from 2007 to October 2011 (for a total of 208). This averages out to more than 28 new aids per year, greatly exceeding the target of five per year. Approximately 23 aids have also been modified and reposted. During this period, the aid pages were accessed 1.9 million times (though these are not necessarily unique visits). Steps have been taken by State Library staff to make the aids more user-friendly, such as adding sort options and rearranging by subject. A search box for finding aids, both of the State Library and the State Archives, is now in the testing phase.

Content specifically for the business and education communities was added as well. This was a target output to be completed by 2008. Multiple pages were created to assist and support small businesses, entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers (see Services for the Business Community). Teachers can find lessons plans, classes and digital resources for use in the classroom. Digital historical documents from the State Library’s collections have also been posted for public access. The target of creating or revising 20 webpages highlighting Research Library collections by 2012 was significantly surpassed. Seventy pages about collections and services were created or revised during the evaluation period.

Activity #9/Targets: Promote user-initiated services with enabling technologies. (Status: Completed)

Several user-initiated services were put in place and promoted by the State Library during the evaluation period. New online forms were produced, such as those for ILL requests through the Research Library. Requests prior to ILLiad were made through State Library staff. Now users can make requests online anytime. (View the complete list of user electronic forms, including Ask a Librarian, Book Purchase Recommendation and Class Registration forms). Onsite, Pharos was installed to manage Internet sign up in the Research Library. Plans are in the works to allow patrons to sign up independently (currently staff must assist patrons).

RSS feeds are another user-initiated service. Since its establishment in 2006, the State Library’s general RSS feed has been regularly maintained, providing primarily updates regarding Research Library activities. Use is increasing. From 2007-2011, the RSS feed was accessed almost 1.5 million times. Roughly 45-percent of the views occurred in 2011. See also the State Library’s RSS feed of library job listings.

User-initiated services are promoted regularly by the State Library through multiple communication channels, such as the State Library website, Facebook page, newsletters, listservs and RSS feeds. Staff members inform meeting and training participants of relevant services as well.

Activity #10/Targets: Implement technology that will enable bibliographic records in the Research Library's OPAC to display in multiple languages.  (Status: No Progress)

The Research Library’s online catalog is not currently able to display records in multiple languages. While this was a planned activity, budget constraints and decreased staffing have prevented the new technology from being purchased and implemented. Providing this service remains an ongoing goal of the State Library.

Activity #11/Targets: Increase New Yorkers’ access to a more diverse library workforce that can better serve their needs through the State Library’s partnership with library schools, library systems and other library organizations. (Status: Made Progress)

The ninth recommendation of the Regents Commission Report focuses on supporting and enhancing a highly skilled library workforce to meet the information needs of New Yorkers. During the evaluation period, the State Library conducted several activities to support this work. Internal changes were made, including strengthened public library certification requirements. Holders issued a certificate after December 31, 2009 are now required to complete 60 hours of professional development every five years. The State Library partnered with the seven colleges and universities offering library and information science programs to inform students and others of the changes. In addition, NYLA established a Task Force on Civil Service Reform, with State Library staff taking part. Recommendations were made to the New York State Department of Civil Service for improving librarian exams and rating scales and these changes were accepted in 2010. During the evaluation period, an average of 500 public librarian certificates were issued by the State Library each year.

The State Library also provided a number of training opportunities for library staff, addressing current library issues and building new skills. Example programs with training components include: (1) Staying Connected Phase Two; (2) Spanish Language Outreach; (3)Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary; (4) the OBE Initiative; (5)Training on the Go; and (6) the New York EqualAccess Libraries Institute. Online education was made available throughout the evaluation period via College of DuPage teleconferences. Nine programs were held for more than 2,800 individuals. Participation is growing. There was an average of 169 participants for 2008-2009 teleconferences, and an average of 385 participants for 2010-2011 teleconferences. In 2010, The State Library conducted an online survey of users, with 90 completions. Of the 90, 79 (or 88-percent) of respondents agreed that the teleconference series is valuable and should be continued. One respondent wrote: These are great conferences on current up-to-date topics that are not readily available elsewhere. Another commented: With release time becoming ever scarcer, these teleconferences are very useful for us high school librarians. We really can’t justify the cost and time of attending academic library conferences, but we need to keep up with academic trends so we can prepare our students adequately. Thanks for funding these conferences. The two programs offered in 2011 each exceeded 550 participants. The College of DuPage is reorganizing programming in 2012, and the State Library will assess the new offerings once details are available.

Lastly, the State Library’s Making It REAL! project, funded by IMLS and completed in 2007, produced the librarycareersny.org website. The State Library continues to maintain and update this site. It provides a wealth of information about library and information science careers, including an RSS feed of current library job listings. Website use has remained fairly steady since 2008, averaging 158,558 page views per year. The RSS feed was accessed 16,765 times from its creation in May 2010 to December 2011.

Activity #12/Targets: As funding permits, offer grants programs to enhance library staff and patron skills, to enhance library systems’ and central libraries’ capabilities to meet users’ information needs and to expand resource sharing. (Status: Completed)

As previously discussed, the State Library offered two types of grant programs supported with LSTA funds during the evaluation period: (1) Service Improvement Grants; and (2) Summer Reading Program Mini Grants. Both programs supported projects designed to help library systems and libraries meet their users’ information needs, as well as expand resource sharing efforts.

GOAL #3:

The State Library, library systems and libraries will deliver new and improved programs that anticipate and meet New Yorkers’ constantly changing needs for library services. (Status: Made Progress)
___________________________________________

Activity #1/Targets: This initiative helps the local public library develop public and private partnerships with other community groups, such as local governments and local school districts, so they can improve their governance structure and better serve their constituents.  (Status: Made Progress)

The third recommendation of the Regents Commission Report focuses on the development of public library districts to decrease the number of New Yorkers without a local library and to promote local library support. The State Library’s efforts in establishing public library districts continued during the evaluation period. A public library districts webpage was maintained, with a how-to guide.  From 2007-2010, 12 public library districts were created (this was slightly less than the target of 15). From July 2007 to July 2011, the number of formerly unserved New Yorkers grew by 88,686. These people now have a local public library. The target, however, was much higher (250,000 by 2012). It is believed that this may have been an unrealistic target, based on previous success. Conditions changed as the State Library lost staff and funding for consultants to support this work during the evaluation period. Many local libraries have also been affected by the economic downturn and may lack the time and resources to move ahead with the often complex process of expanding their service area. Also to note, local public funds for libraries were $47.16 per capita in 2010, just below the target of $50 per capita. They peaked in 2008 at $62.90.

Activity #2/Targets: Support and expand service improvement and evaluation processes in all types of libraries and library systems to help them use performance (outputs) and results (outcomes) in measuring their progress toward excellence. (Status: Made Progress)

  • Expand train-the-trainer instruction in service improvement and evaluation methods for State Library, library system and library staff. (Status: No Progress)
  • Provide library systems with a range of advisory services to support instruction for member library staff in service improvement and evaluation methods. (Status: Made Progress)
  • Expand partnerships with library systems in providing user-friendly, timely and accurate data via the Internet for evaluation of library services and programs. (Status: Made Progress)
  • Support and expand communication of exemplary library programs. (Status: Made Progress)

The State Library’s OBE Initiative was established in 2003 and has continued throughout the evaluation period. For training, the State Library offered two-day Basic OBE Workshops for staff of library systems and libraries in 2008, 2009 and 2010. An Advanced OBE Workshop was held in 2008. Train-the-trainer instruction was not formally offered, as the library community routinely requested Basic and Advanced Workshops partly due to staff turnover. Training sessions have continued to be well-received and effective. In 2010, for example, 27 people attended the Basic Workshop, and the vast majority reported increased confidence in applying OBE skills.

The State Library continues to maintain the OBE website. Activities, resources and links are routinely updated. One important addition during the evaluation period was a webinar. The 20-minute webinar, titled OBE: An Introduction, was added in 2010. It provides users new to outcomes with an overview and previous workshop participants with a quick refresher. From August 2010 to November 2011, there were 3,768 views of the webinar. State Library staff contact information also remains on the site, so that users may obtain OBE assistance as needed via phone or email.

Statewide processes, such as the State Library’s Five-Year LSTA Plan and Library System Plans of Service, continue to include OBE elements. Several grant projects have also been planned and evaluated using OBE. For example, an impact report for the Gates Foundation’s Opportunity Online Hardware Grant Program was developed using OBE concepts. The State Library’s OBE Initiative was also newly expanded through Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary by offering customized training to program participants to ensure outcome data was collected at the local level (this project is not yet complete).

Exemplary programs were shared and promoted in multiple ways: (1) the OBE website contains a Best Practices page and sample Summer Reading at New York Libraries outcomes; (2) the annual LSTA brochure showcases library system projects; and (3) LSTA-funded programs were shared through the IMLS State Program Report. The library community is also encouraged to share their evaluation work. For instance, the PCCs in Broabandexpress@yourlibrary regularly submit their program successes for the program website.

Activity #3/Targets: Support and expand service improvement and evaluation processes in all types of libraries and library systems to help them develop outputs and results (outcomes) to show the impact of LSTA priority-related user programs such as technology and literacy. (Status: Made Progress)

As described above, the State Library’s OBE Initiative strongly supports this work. In addition, many State Library grant programs include output and outcome requirements in their applications. LSTA-funded Service Improvement Grants, for example, include detailed OBE instructions and supporting resources. Findings are shared through a variety of channels.

Activity #4/Targets: Partner with public library systems and other organizations to periodically assess public library needs for building construction, expansion and renovation. (Status: Made Progress)

The fifth recommendation of the Regents Commission Report focuses on the need for increased public library construction, expansion and renovation in New York State. Aging buildings, greater technology demands and increased public use are all playing a significant role. To communicate this need for construction funds to policymakers and other interested parties, comprehensive and current data must be available. Since 2001, the State Library has worked with public library systems to conduct a needs assessment. Public library annual report statistics and surveys were used, and in 2006, the State Library, working in partnership with the public library systems, posted a detailed list of libraries and their construction needs on the State Library website.

During the evaluation period, the State Library continued this important work. In 2010, the State Library again collected and analyzed statistics and surveys to update the estimated public library construction needs list. It is currently organized by library system and includes county Assembly and Senate district data, as well as project descriptions and estimated costs. Data presented in 2009 and 2010 informed 2011 changes to the program that will improve access to these capital funds for libraries in economically disadvantaged communities in State FY 2012-2013.  The total need is now estimated at more than $2.5 billion for more than 450 public library buildings (for 2010-2014). While the State has appropriated $14 million in matching capital funds for public library construction each fiscal year from 2007-2012, this money is not nearly enough to meet the billions of dollars in estimated need. For this reason, conducting assessments and informing policymakers continues to be a State Library priority. An average of 175 Public Library Construction Grants have been awarded by the State Library each year beginning in 2006-2007, totaling $84 million.

Activity #5/Targets: Partner with the Gates Foundation and WebJunction to provide libraries and library trustees with planning and evaluation tools so that libraries will increase their impact in their local communities. (Status: Made Progress)

As described earlier, the State Library partnered with the Gates Foundation and WebJunction on several programs. All involved planning and evaluation components. 

Activity #6/Targets: Strengthen the State Library’s partnership with the State Education Department’s Office of Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education (EMSC), school library systems and others to improve and enhance New York’s school library media programs. (Status: Made Progress)

The State Library has continued its partnership with EMSC (now called P-12) and school library systems. The evaluation period was marked by enhanced communications among these groups. For example, three regular, collaborative meetings have been established since 2008: (1) a State Library bi-monthly conference call with school library system directors; (2) a monthly P-12 conference call with school library leaders; and (3) regular internal meetings between the State Library and P-12 staff. A resulting example of the P-12 collaboration was the opportunity to directly promote Summer Reading at New York Libraries to School District Superintendents. The State Library also worked with P-12 to provide data for NYCC’s Informational Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement.

In addition, NYSED hosted a two-day School Library Services Summit in partnership with NYLA’s School Library Media Section and School Library System Association in 2009 (the State Library participated). As a result, the School Library Media Program Evaluation rubric was revised and posted online and related changes were made to the Basic Education Data System School Data Survey. Information Literacy Learning Experiences (lesson plans) were also requested for peer-review and posting on the Virtual Learning System website. Guidelines for the usage of Library Materials Aid was also developed and posted on the NYSED website, and a formula-based aid increase was drafted for consideration by the Board of Regents.

The number of elementary school students who have access to a certified school library media specialist was nearly unchanged from 2007-2011. The original target was a 10-percent increase during this period, which was not achieved. In 2007-2008, 834,192 students had access to a certified school library media specialist and in 2010-2011, 851,309 had access. More than 410,000 students in New York State still lack access to a certified librarian.

The State Library also awarded Service Improvement Grants to school library systems throughout the evaluation period (see project descriptions).

Activity #7/Targets: Strengthen the State Library’s partnership with academic, research and special libraries (both statewide and nationally), as well as reference and research library resources systems, the State Education Department’s Office of Higher Education, and others to improve and enhance New York’s academic and research libraries. (Status: Made Progress)

The State Library continues to partner with these groups. Staff members hold monthly calls with the reference and research library resources systems to share updates regarding State Library services and issues that affect the academic and research library communities. The Research Library Director serves as a member of NYSHEI’s Board, and another staff member served on Nylink’s Board until its operations were suspended. NYSHEI strives to promote the role of academic and research libraries in public policy and enhance the ability of these libraries to provide the broadest range of information resources to the widest audience in the most cost effective manner. The State Library partnered with NYSHEI and others to develop a plan for maintaining Nylink’s valued LAND delivery service, described on page 35. The reference and research library resources systems have moved ahead as lead partners on the project, and have issued a request for proposal in 2012. The State Library also established a listserv for academic library directors in late 2007 to share news and events that pertain to this group. The Office of Cultural Education (of which the State Library is a component) is currently participating with other NYSED members in the creation of the next statewide plan for higher education. The State Library is also the contact/representative for the National Center for Educational Statistics Academic Library Survey.

Activity #8/Targets: Use new communications technologies to provide technical assistance more effectively to libraries and library systems. (Status: Made Progress)

The State Library implemented multiple new communication technologies during the evaluation period. For example, webinar services were used for Summer Reading at New York Libraries, specifically to demonstrate online registration to library system and library staff. An introductory OBE webinar was created and posted on the State Library’s website, and College of DuPage teleconferences were also offered. The State Library increased its website content to assist libraries and library systems with chartering and registration, and added information about laws and regulations. An online grant application and reporting system was developed and successfully used for various programs, such as the State-funded Adult and Family Literacy Grants. Videoconferencing methods were used for various meetings. Also as mentioned, social media communication channels were added via the State Library and NOVELNY Facebook pages, and RSS feeds were developed.

Activity #9/Targets: Provide grants to all types of library systems and central libraries as funds are available to enable libraries to improve service to their local communities. (Status: Made Progress)

Throughout the evaluation period, State Library staff managed a variety of grant programs that directly improved local library services. These include the previously described LSTA-funded Service Improvement Grants and Summer Reading Program Mini Grants (pages 17 and 22).

In addition to managing statutory formula grants for libraries and library systems, State Library staff also coordinated the Conservation/Preservation Program, providing several competitive State-funded grants (3,500 over four years) to libraries and other organizations engaged in efforts to preserve deteriorating library research materials. The program encourages the proper care and accessibility of research materials, promotes the use and development of guidelines and technical standards for conservation/preservation work and supports the growth of local and cooperative activities within the context of emerging national preservation programs. Grant awards totaled more than $2.2 million for 2007-2012.

State-supported Adult and Family Literacy Grants were offered by State Library staff with more than $1.8 million given to library systems for the 2007-2009 and 2009-2011 grant cycles. 2011-2013 projects have also begun with $391,242 allocated for the first year of the grant cycle. Examples of Adult Literacy projects include programs that offered literacy services to adults who read below the sixth-grade level, adults who have learning disabilities and adults preparing for the general equivalency diploma examination. Some Adult Literacy programs also served immigrants by teaching citizenship preparation, as well as English language skills. Additionally, Family Literacy projects focused on developing or expanding literacy services for parents, caregivers and children through partnerships with local organizations and community groups. In many cases, emphasis was placed on early literacy activities for very young children to introduce them to books and reading and to help prepare them for school (see complete project summaries).

Lastly, the State Library offered approximately $18.5 million in public access computing and broadband-related grants from the Gates Foundation, New York State Office for Technology and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (see pages 14 and 15). The State Library Opinion Survey determined that all types of grants, federal, state and privately funded, were of very high importance to respondents.

Activity #10/Targets: Create a pilot online education and training program available to all public library systems and their member libraries’ staff. (Status: Completed/Not Continued)

Training on the Go was developed as part of Staying Connected Phase Two, funded by the Gates Foundation. The pilot online education and training program was carried out through a partnership with NYLA. The pilot offered self-paced, online instruction on a wide variety of topics, including customer service, library management, communication, web and software applications, network administration and web development. Many technology courses were aligned to specifically support the needs of public librarians. The State Library, in partnership with NYLA, managed the program, promoted its use, surveyed participants and distributed course codes from the course providers and tabulated periodic progress reports on participation in the program.

Participation in Training on the Go did not meet the target of 500 public library staff members by 2009. During Phase One, 482 course codes were given out to 366 program participants. The majority of courses were started, but a high number were not completed. Survey responses indicated that most users liked the courses, but also found aspects to be challenging. For example, one respondent wrote: Other than the difficult registration process, I liked it very much. Another commented: I regret that I have not YET finished the courses. I fully intend to! Lack of time and technical difficulties were reported. In some instances, the course platform demanded robust broadband access not supported by rural libraries. Phase Two of the pilot was carried out through a NYLA partnership, and completed in 2009. Due to low usage and poor course completion, the State Library and NYLA did not continue the program.

In 2011, the State Library participated in WebJunction’s Project Compass Initiative, which included an online course specifically designed to help library staff serve job seekers and the unemployed, as well as build public digital literacy skills. Four State Library and 75 public library staff participating in the Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary project took the course using LSTA funds.

Activity #11/Targets: Improve online planning, budgetary and reporting tools for use by local libraries and systems. (Status: Made Progress)

The State Library continues to use Bibliostat Collect, an Internet based software product developed by Baker and Taylor that has been customized for the specific data collection needs of New York State’s library systems and libraries. During the evaluation period, Baker and Taylor revised their user platform and interface based on feedback from users, resulting in a more user-friendly product. Users of the State Library’s Bibliostat Collect are also given regular opportunities to provide comments and suggestions for improvement. State Library staff reviews the feedback and shares it with Baker and Taylor. Whenever possible, suggested enhancements are made. To date, the upgrades have been well received by users.

The State Library also offers Bibliostat Connect. This service provides New York State public library statistics back to 1991 from the Annual Report for Public and Association Libraries, as well as the latest national public library data from the Public Library Statistical Cooperative. The library community and the general public can freely access this data via the State Library website. Baker and Taylor is currently planning an upgrade for Bibliostat Connect, and the State Library will work with the company during this process to ensure that New York’s data sets are relevant and up-to-date.

From 2007-2011, nine Bibliostat Collect and Connect training workshops were conducted by State Library staff. In many cases, the State Library partnered with library systems to hold the training in library systems or in individual libraries across the state. A total of 176 library staff members participated. There was an average of 200 hits per month on the State Library’s Bibliostat Collect/Connect webpage.

Activity #12/Targets: Partner with federal agencies to improve the timeliness and accuracy of public library statistics. (Status: Made Progress)

The State Library continues to work closely with IMLS staff to provide timely and accurate public library data. The State Library consistently met federal data submission deadlines. During the evaluation period, New York’s State Data Coordinator (SDC) attended 3 out of the 5 annual meetings for SDCs conducted by IMLS. Attendance at the annual meeting gave the SDC valuable opportunities to meet with IMLS and U.S. Census staff, as well as SDCs from other states to share ideas, problems and solutions related to data collection. The SDC also participated in related software training.

Activity #13/Targets: Accelerate conservation/preservation activities, including technological solutions. (Status: Made Progress)

During the evaluation period, the State Library started funding the digital conversion of audio files through its Conservation/Preservation Program and is now acting as a dark archive for funded projects. The Program Coordinator worked with audio preservation engineers to develop appropriate guidelines for the transfer to digital. A Statewide Preservation Plan was developed in 2010 through an IMLS Connecting to Collections Grant. To assess the preservation needs of New York State and to inform the plan, a Preservation Planning and Advisory Group was created and led by the State Library, State Archives, State Museum and New York State Public Broadcasting. Other project partners included: (1) the Greater Hudson Heritage Network; (2) Museum Association of New York; (3) New York Archives Conference; (4) New York Council for the Arts; (5) NYLA; and (6) Upstate History Alliance. The group developed a survey that was completed by almost 800 respondents from cultural institutions and other relevant groups. (see survey results and the plan) The State Library also tracked damage and provided technical assistance to libraries and other institutions in 2011 during Tropical Storms Irene and Lee. The Program Coordinator worked as part of the New York State Emergency Operations Center. The State Library’s Conservation/Preservation Program website includes damage recovery information and resources.

Activity #14/Targets: Partner with Libraries for the Future on projects to expand access to library users through information and educational resources such as health information, youth-related information and lifelong access. (Status: Completed)

The State Library continued to partner with Libraries for the Future, a non-profit organization, to offer New York EqualAccess Libraries in 2007 and 2008 (the project began in 2005). During the evaluation period, a four-day EqualAccess Institute was held for a total of four public library systems and 37 public library staff members. The comprehensive training helped participants develop community-responsive programming and services. Participants left with a complete work plan for implementing a program for one of three audiences: (1) adolescents (Youth Access); (2) retirees (Lifelong Access); or (3) health consumers (Health Access). Ongoing support for participants via telephone and email was conducted by the State Library’s designated EqualAccess Program Coordinator.

Participants were surveyed post-Institute. Results indicated that the majority of participants were very satisfied with the Institute and felt the quality of the training content was excellent (62-percent). One respondent wrote: Thank you for a valuable experience with direct application to my work. Also, confidence levels in implementing the skills learned, such as assessment, planning, outreach, collaboration, advocacy and evaluation significantly increased for the vast majority of participants after the training (supporting the target of 60-percent of participants indicating that they are better able to anticipate and meet changing customer needs and better able to measure their progress toward achieving excellence). Many participants went on to implement their work plans and offer new programming in Youth Access, Lifelong Access or Health Access. For more project results and implementation examples, see the final report, New York EqualAccess Libraries: Training and Support in Developing Community-Responsive Programming and Services in Public Libraries.

GOAL #4:

The State Library, library systems, libraries and library organizations will strengthen public policy support for upgrading library services for every New Yorker through improved communication, collaboration and partnership efforts within and beyond the library community.  (Status: Made Progress)
___________________________________________

Activity #1/Targets: Enhance the State Library’s statewide education and outreach efforts to establish a supportive attitude toward upgrading libraries and library services from the public, the library community and key partners in the education and business communities. (Status: Made Progress)

As mentioned throughout this report, the State Library significantly enhanced its statewide education and outreach efforts during the evaluation period. New partnerships and promotion for NOVELNY and Summer Reading at New York Libraries are perhaps the greatest examples (see pages 13 and 21). The State Library Opinion Survey also confirmed the library community’s value of these two programs, giving them the highest importance ratings. LSTA funds have also enabled library systems and libraries to participate in partnerships through Service Improvement Grants and Summer Reading Program Mini Grants (see Appendix #1).

Programming was offered, with the State Library sponsoring/co-sponsoring 309 events for 12,697 individuals from October 2007 to December 2011. The State Library also offered 154 programs for Research Library customers and exhibited at 57 conferences, including four National Book Festival events. Communications with the library field and partners were improved through new and regular meetings, enhanced websites and online tools and new communication technologies. Grant monies were leveraged to allow State Library staff to travel to local communities to provide information about State Library services and local library needs in New York State, such as public access computing and broadband needs.

There are currently 2,873 people participating in NYLINE, the statewide library listserv, and it was widely used to share State Library information and updates. The State Library exceeded the target of at least 12 articles about its collections and/or services in various newspapers, magazines and newsletters by 2012. Ten articles appeared in major newspapers, such as the article, State Library Offers Web Links to Job and Career Resources, published in the Albany Times Union (April 20, 2009). Multiple articles were also published in various newsletters, such as the Association of Specialized & Cooperative Library Agencies Interface Newsletter, Friends of the New York State Library Newsletter, New Netherland Institute Newsletter, NYLA Bulletin and Trustee Newsletter.

Currently, there is no data to measure the target of at least 75-percent of library and library system staff indicating that they are aware of the State Library’s services. However, the State Library Opinion Survey indirectly showed awareness as hundreds of respondents rated statewide programs, technology tools, technical assistance and other services.

The State Library has also supported and shared the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries 2020 Vision Plan, which will replace the current Regents recommendations. The document is presently in draft form. A needs assessment was done, obtaining feedback from the library and education communities. More information

Activity #2/Targets: Improve mechanisms to share information concerning the impact of LSTA federal funds with the library community and the general public. (Status: Made Progress)

  • Develop, publish and distribute brochures that show the relevance and importance of the LSTA program. (Status: Completed)
  • Expand the State Library website to promote reporting of LSTA-supported activities. (Status: Made Progress)

The State Library develops a brochure each year describing the relevance and importance of the LSTA Program in New York State. For 2011, the brochure was titled LSTA Funds Help Ensure That New Yorkers Have What it Takes to Compete and Succeed in Today’s Economy. The brochure is widely distributed each spring with support from the Friends of the New York State Library. Policymakers, the library community and the general public are key audiences. Several specific examples of LSTA funds in use at both state and regional levels are featured on the last page. The LSTA website where the brochure is posted is kept up-to-date. Current grant information is provided, including downloadable guidelines and forms. Recipients of past grant programs are posted (back to 1998) and users may also browse grants by congressional district. The State Library also continues to post LSTA-related news on NYLINE.

The Five-Year LSTA Plan included the target of a 10-percent annual increase in views of LSTA-supported activities on the State Library website. This was achieved. The LSTA page and its subpages were viewed 104,830 times in 2007-2008, and 166,347 times in 2010-2011 (up 59-percent). Other LSTA-funded projects were evaluated as well, and yielded significant increases. For example, page views of Summer Reading at New York Libraries almost tripled to 322,329 in 2010-2011 (from 110,042 in 2007-2008).

Activity #3/Targets: Partner on projects that result in improved decisions by library policymakers. (Status: Made Progress)

A number of State Library activities previously mentioned led to improved decisions by library policymakers. The Gates Foundation’s Opportunity Online Hardware and Broadband Grant Programs, for example, resulted in new or increased technology-related budgets for participating libraries (see pages 14 and 15). Thirty-four percent of Opportunity Online Hardware survey respondents reported new ongoing funding for public computers and other technologies. The public library district how-to kit and State Library technical assistance helped create 12 new library districts and provided 88,686 individuals with a local library. The State Library partnered with LTA to collect library policies for inclusion in LTA’s Policy Database. The State Library received an award from LTA for this work. Collaborations with NYSHEI, Nylink and others resulted in discounts in electronic resource subscriptions and delivery services, making participation for libraries less costly. The State Library also tracked damage and provided technical assistance to libraries and other cultural institutions during Tropical Storms Irene and Lee. Guidelines for using Library Materials Aid were drafted during the School Library Summit, and the State Library worked with P-12 to provide data for NYCC’s Informational Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement.  The 2020 Vision Plan in development by the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries is also intended to assist the Board of Regents in making informed decisions about the future of statewide library services. Lastly, data for the target of 25-percent of library policymakers participating in a State Library program indicate that their library has benefited was not available. Policymakers were not specifically identified and surveyed during the evaluation period.

Activity #4/Targets: Participate in collaborative collection development, resource sharing and coordinated statewide efforts for archiving electronic resources. (Status: Made Progress)

The State Library currently participates in multiple projects that foster collection development collaboration and resource sharing. These include: (1) the IDS Project; (2) GIST; and LAND delivery services. LAND is a rapid delivery ILL service that stops for pick-up and delivery once daily at all member locations. LAND provides a 24-48 hour turnaround time for deliveries in upstate New York. A flat annual fee replaces per item fees making costs significantly lower than other postal/delivery services. Also as described previously in the report, the State Library carried out significant work in increasing its digital collections, some of which consist of born-digital New York State documents that are made available online.

Activity #5/Targets: Participate in partnerships that promote statewide document delivery services. (Status: Made Progress)

See the IDS Project and GIST, and LAND delivery services mentioned above.

APPENDIX #1: PARTNERSHIPS CREATED THROUGH LSTA-FUNDED ACTIVITIES

As the State Library found partnerships to be very effective in carrying out LSTA activities during the evaluation period, so did the vast majority of library systems across New York State. The evaluator distributed the LSTA Partnership Survey to all 73 systems in November 2011 (see Appendix #5), and 61 (or 84-percent) completed surveys were received (see Appendix #3). Responses indicated that partners played a significant role in being able to offer, promote and expand LSTA-supported programming and services at regional and local levels. The following charts illustrate the large number and variety of partner types and contributions reported by systems (click on each chart to enlarge):

contributions of partners on LSTA-funded projects 2007-2011 as reported by library systems. Staff 69%; volunteers 28%; facilities 56%; equipment 43%; expertise 79%; contacts 43%; funding 39%; other 18%; click to see a larger version of the chart   number of partners on LSTA-funded projects 2007-2011 as reported by library systems. None 1%; 1-5 21%; 6-10 10%; 11-15 5%; 16-20 10%; more than 20 54%; click to see a larger version of the chart   types of partners on LSTA-funded projects 2007-2011 as reported by library systems. Libraries 54%; other library systems 72%; government agencies 18%; elementary and secondary school 59%; colleges and universities 30%; nonprofit organizations 43%; community groups 21% businesses 28%; other 21%; click to see a larger version of the chart

Respondents provided a variety of examples. Summer Reading at New York Libraries collaborations, for instance, were commonly described. The Monroe County Library System partnered with the local Rochester Red Wings Baseball Team to hold a Library Day at the stadium, giving free tickets to local libraries’ best summer readers. The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library collaborated with the Buffalo Museum of Science to offer a Cool Science summer series at local branch libraries in 2008. The museum provided staff and supplies to conduct the programs. The Nassau Library System and Suffolk Cooperative Library System reported partnering with Newsday to produce an eight-page Summer Reading Program newspaper supplement for distribution in local schools and libraries. Newsday provided graphic design and delivery services, and 150,000 supplements were distributed in June 2011. The Onondaga County Public Library System sent its children’s and teen librarians into local schools to present and promote summer reading activities each summer of the evaluation period. Also important to note, the Southern Adirondack Library System required its member libraries to collaborate with at least one local partner to receive Summer Reading Program Mini Grant funding. The Mid-Hudson Library System also made partnership mandatory, and reported: While libraries initially groaned about this or were intimidated, the final reports they submitted were outstanding. They were very glad we had pushed them towards this and the payoff was fantastic from their perspective. They were able to strengthen ties to influential people and institutions in their communities which is exactly what is necessary to sustain viable, visible and vital community libraries in the years to come.

Though partnerships brought many benefits, the survey found that library systems also experienced challenges. Most commonly, systems reported that they lacked the time needed to establish and build partnerships and carry out collaborative projects. This directly relates to staffing and funding constraints. One respondent summarized this by writing: The greatest challenges are finding time to identify, meet and plan with potential partners. With ever-shrinking staff due to cuts in State aid, it is a challenge to free up staff time for this work. Other reported obstacles include the geographic distance between partners and dealing with different partner priorities, interests and needs. Lastly, the survey asked library systems to rate the importance of partnerships. The vast majority (92-percent) indicated that partnerships were either important or very important to the system’s work on LSTA-supported activities. See the following chart:

importance of partners on LSTA-funded projects 2007-2011 as reported by library systems. very important 74%; important 18%; neither important nor unimportant 7%; unimportant 1%; very unimportant 0%; click to see a larger version of the chart

Multiple comments from survey respondents supported this finding. The following are highlights:

  • The greatest benefit [of partnerships] has been the ability to stretch a small amount of money to achieve a major impact. The collaboration brings our collective expertise and creativity together to maximize the result of our service improvement projects.
  • Part of the reason partnerships have become so important is that LSTA funding has decreased significantly. Working with others and combining funding allows us to achieve more together.
  • By partnering with other school library systems, we have turned our $5k into $20k for professional development—very worthwhile!
  • In our case, at least, partnerships have allowed us to stretch our LSTA funds much further. While partner contributions are usually not monetary, they result in significant savings. Our partners provide space for events, server space, IT support, training expertise and staff time. Without these, we would not be able to accomplish nearly as much with our LSTA funds.
  • Partnerships are important to make community projects work particularly because often the project targets hard to reach groups and partners can help to reach those populations.
  • Partnerships allow us to do more things and reach out to more people, while keeping costs reasonable.

APPENDIX #2: LIST OF ACRONYMS

  • ACCES: New York State Education Department Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services
  • CSLP: Collaborative Summer Library Program
  • EMSC: New York State Education Department Office of Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education (now called P-12)
  • GIST: Getting It System Toolkit
  • IDS Project: Information Delivery Services Project
  • ILL: Interlibrary loan
  • IMLS: Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • LSTA: Library Services and Technology Act
  • LTA: Library Trustees Association of New York State
  • NOVELNY: New York Online Virtual Electronic Library
  • NYCC: New York Comprehensive Center
  • NYLA: New York Library Association
  • NYSED: New York State Education Department
  • NYSHEI: New York State Higher Education Initiative
  • OBE: Outcome-based evaluation
  • PCC: Public computing center
  • PeDALS: Persistent Digital Archives and Library System
  • Pi2: Partners in Information and Innovation
  • SDC: State Data Coordinator
  • TBBL: Talking Book and Braille Library (of the New York State Library)
  • TGN: The Generation Network
  • USNY: University of the State of New York
  • VLS: Virtual Learning System
  • WALDO: Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization

APPENDIX #3: LIST OF PEOPLE INTERVIEWED AND/OR SURVEYED

New York State Library

  • Cassandra Artale, Library Development Specialist
  • Karen Balsen, Library Development Specialist
  • Stephanie Barrett, Senior Librarian
  • Carol Ann Desch, Coordinator of Statewide Library Services/Director of Library Development
  • Ian Duckor, Associate Librarian
  • Liza Duncan, Principal Librarian
  • Loretta Ebert, Director of the Research Library
  • Maria Hazapis, Education Program Assistant
  • Amy Heebner, Associate Librarian
  • Cara Janowsky, Associate Librarian
  • Maribeth Krupczak, Library Development Specialist
  • Barbara Lilley, Library Development Specialist
  • Diane Madrigal, Information Technology Specialist
  • Sharon Phillips, Associate Librarian, Director of TBBL
  • Jeff Sohn, Associate Librarian
  • Cindy Stark, Associate Librarian
  • Mary Ann Stiefvater, Cultural Education Specialist
  • Mary Linda Todd, Library Development Specialist and LSTA Program Coordinator
  • Lynne Webb, Senior Librarian

Library Systems

Directors and/or staff members from the following systems completed the LSTA Partnership Survey. Information about New York State library systems

  • Broome-Delaware-Tioga BOCES School Library System
  • Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
  • Buffalo School Library System
  • Capital District Library Council
  • Cattaraugus-Allegany-Erie-Wyoming BOCES School Library System
  • Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES School Library System
  • Central New York Library Resources Council
  • Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System
  • Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System
  • Clinton-Essex-Warren-Washington (Champlain Valley) BOCES School Library System
  • Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego BOCES School Library System
  • Dutchess BOCES School Library System
  • Eastern Suffolk BOCES School Library System
  • Erie 1 BOCES School Library System
  • Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES School Library System
  • Finger Lakes Library System
  • Four County Library System
  • Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES School Library System
  • Genesee-Livingston-Steuben-Wyoming (Genesee Valley) BOCES School Library System
  • Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES School Library System
  • Jefferson-Lewis BOCES School Library System
  • Long Island Library Resources Council
  • Madison-Oneida BOCES School Library System
  • Metropolitan New York Library Council
  • Mid-Hudson Library System
  • Mid-York Library System
  • Mohawk Valley Library System
  • Monroe 1 BOCES School Library System
  • Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES School Library System
  • Monroe County Library System
  • Nassau Library System
  • New York City School Library System
  • Nioga Library System
  • North Country Library System
  • Northern New York Library Network
  • Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES School Library System
  • Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES School Library System
  • Onondaga County Public Library
  • Orange Ulster BOCES School Library System
  • Oswego County
  • Otsego-Northern Catskills (Otsego-Delaware-Schoharie-Greene) BOCES School Library System
  • Pioneer Library System
  • Queens Borough Public Library
  • Ramapo Catskill Library System
  • Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene (Questar III) BOCES School Library System
  • Rochester Regional Library Council
  • Rockland BOCES School Library System
  • St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES School Library System
  • Schuyler-Steuben-Chemung-Tioga-Allegany (Greater Southern Tier) BOCES School Library System
  • Southern Adirondack Library System
  • Southern Tier Library System
  • Suffolk Cooperative Library System
  • Syracuse City School Library System
  • Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES School Library System
  • Ulster BOCES School Library System
  • Upper Hudson Library System
  • Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES School Library System
  • Wayne-Finger Lakes (Ontario-Seneca-Yates- Cayuga-Wayne) BOCES School Library System
  • Westchester Library System
  • Western New York Library Resources Council
  • Yonkers City School Library System

APPENDIX #4: BIBLIOGRAPHY OF DOCUMENTS REVIEWED

APPENDIX #5: LSTA PARTNERSHIP SURVEY

  1. Name:
  2. Title:
  3. Library System:
  4. Phone:
  5. Email:
  6. From 2007 to present, how many partners has your library system worked with on LSTA-funded projects, such as NOVELNY, Summer Reading at New York Libraries, and LSTA Service Improvement Grants?  Check one.
    None
    1 to 5
    6 to 10
    11 to 15
    16 to 20
    More than 20
  1. Please indicate the type of partners. Check all that apply.
    Libraries
    Other library systems
    Government agencies
    Elementary and secondary schools
    Colleges and universities
    Non-profit organizations
    Community groups and clubs
    Businesses
    Other, please describe: ______________________
  1. Please indicate the type of partner contributions. Check all that apply.
    Staff
    Volunteers
    Facilities
    Equipment
    Expertise
    Contacts
    Funding
    Other, please describe: ______________________
  1. Please provide AT LEAST TWO EXAMPLES of your library system’s partnerships on LSTA-funded projects since 2007. Include the project name and date, partner name and description and partner contributions, as well as any other pertinent details.
  2. Please indicate the greatest benefits of working with partners on LSTA-funded projects.
  3. Please indicate the greatest challenges of working with partners on LSTA-funded projects.
  4. Overall, how would you rate the importance of partnerships in your library system’s implementation of    LSTA-funded projects from 2007 to present? Check one.
    Very important
    Important
    Neither important nor unimportant
    Unimportant
    Very unimportant
  1. Please include any other comments you would like to share about partnerships.

APPENDIX #6: STATE LIBRARY Opinion Survey

The Survey in .PDF [pdf icon 291k]

  1. Please indicate your primary affiliation:
    Public library
    Academic library
    Special library (e.g. hospital, law, business, research)
    School library
    State agency library
    Public library system
    Reference and research library resources system
    School library system
    Other, please describe: ______________________
  1. Is your library:
    Urban
    Suburban
    Rural
  1. Please indicate your position:
    Director/Library manager
    Library staff member
    Trustee
    Other, please describe: ______________________

Has your library or library system used or participated in the following State Library programs or services for yourself or your patrons? Please choose any programs/services that your library received directly from the State Library or through a State supported program such as a public library system, a reference and research library resources system or a school library system. On a scale 1-5 where 1 is not at all important and 5 is very important, indicate how important are the programs and services to you that you have chosen.

  1. Statewide Programs/Services
    Summer Reading at New York Libraries 1   2   3   4   5
    College of DuPage teleconferences 1   2   3   4   5
    Public, reference and research library resources
    and school library systems
    1   2   3   4   5
    Public librarian certification 1   2   3   4   5
    Online courses for library staff 1   2   3   4   5
    Public Library District Initiative 1   2   3   4   5
    Library Statistics and Data Program 1   2   3   4   5
    NOVELNY databases and/or Brainfuse JobNow 1   2   3   4   5
  1.  Research Library: State Library’s collection of 20 million items (e.g. New York State history, genealogy, law or medical information, New Netherland Research Center, newspapers, manuscripts, special collections)
Reference service 1   2   3   4   5
Online catalog 1   2   3   4   5
Finding aids 1   2   3   4   5
Interlibrary loan 1   2   3   4   5
Borrowed or used items other than on site 1   2   3   4   5
State documents through the State Library
or a regional depository
1   2   3   4   5
Federal documents through the State Library 

1   2   3   4   5
Talking Book and Braille Library  1   2   3   4   5
Online exhibits and digital collections 1   2   3   4   5
  1. Grants
Federal grants (e.g. LSTA, BTOP, IMLS) 1   2   3   4   5
State grants (e.g. Public library Construction, Coordinated Collection Development Aid for Academic Libraries, Conservation/Preservation, Adult Literacy, Family Literacy, State Corrections, Indian Libraries)  1   2   3   4   5
Other statewide grants programs initiated by the State Library (e.g. Gates Foundation Public Access Computing or Broadband Grants, OFT Broadband Grants) 1   2   3   4   5
  1. Technical assistance
    Public or association libraries (e.g. incorporation,
    governance, standards, statistics, best practices

    1   2   3   4   5
    Conservation/Preservation and disaster planning 1   2   3   4   5
    E-rate discounts 1   2   3   4   5
    Services for customers with special needs (persons
    who are unemployed, physically disabled, learning
    disabled, institutionalized, non-English speakers,
    minorities, the elderly, economically disadvantaged)
    1   2   3   4   5
    Academic libraries (e.g. standards, statistics) 1   2   3   4   5
    Online resource use or implementation 1   2   3   4   5
    Youth services

    1   2   3   4   5
  1. Technology (Electronic lists, websites, tools)
Find your public library search tool  1   2   3   4   5
NYLINE, NYLINE-sublists or other State Library
electronic lists
1   2   3   4   5
State Library initiated websites 1   2   3   4   5
State Library website 1   2   3   4   5
State Library Facebook page 1   2   3   4   5
Library Careers website 1   2   3   4   5
Summer Reading website 1   2   3   4   5
Programmers and Performers website 1   2   3   4   5
NOVELNY website 1   2   3   4   5
NOVELNY Facebook page 1   2   3   4   5
GIS maps of public library/library system service areas 1   2   3   4   5
Bibliostat Connect online tool for public library statistics 1   2   3   4   5
  1. Please rank the top five from question #4 to question #8 in order of importance to your library.
  2. If the State Library were to offer other programs or services that are not offered today (keeping in mind that this may involve tradeoffs with types of services offered today): In what new areas would you most like to receive support or assistance in the future from the State Library? (Put Y as Yes in the textbox) Please list top 5 in rank order. Use the write in option if your preferences are not listed (Put 1 as ranking after Y):
    • ___ Sharing best practices
    • ___ Marketing and branding initiatives for New York’s libraries
    • ___ Training programs for library trustees
    • ___ Programs for special populations
    • ___ Public programs and exhibits from the State Library, Museum and Archives that can be delivered locally
    • ___ Digital literacy training programs for patrons
    • ___ Training program for staff in assisting patrons with technology
    • ___ Videoconferencing
    • ___ Use of new technology
    • ___ Centralized Integrated Library System and/or Discovery Tool
    • ___ Increased bandwidth (broadband) for libraries
    • ___ Centralized e-book purchasing
    • ___ Centralized strategic planning for technology
    • ___ Developing digital collections of New York State-specific materials
    • ___ Centralized digitization of local newspapers or other resources
    • ___ Delivery system
    • ___ Publication of library statistics, return on investment or other profiles of New York State libraries
    • ___ Recruiting and retaining skilled library staff from diverse backgrounds
    • ___ Early literacy programs
    • ___ None (explain)
    • ___ Other
  3. What services, products or role(s) do you think the State Library is best positioned to offer to the library systems?
  4. What services, products or role(s) do you think the State Library is best positioned to offer to an individual library?
  5. Are there services or products the State Library is best suited to deliver directly to the end user (non-librarian)?
Last Updated: April 3, 2014