Library System Plan of Service

Frequently Asked Questions
Reference and Research Library Resources Systems
Plan of Service 2011-2016

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  1. Will separate plans for state-aided programs for library systems be required?
    • Some formerly separate plans have been incorporated in the Plan of Service.  Systems will provide URLs for discrete plans, such as Coordinated Collection Development.
  2. How will the systems be notified when the Plan of Service is approved by the New York State Library?
    • The system director will receive an email notification from the State Library.
  3. How will the system be notified if the Plan is not approvable and clarifications and/or corrections are required?
    • The State Library will notify the system director by email.  The online Plan of Service software will be "unlocked" so that the appropriate corrections/changes can be made and the Plan resubmitted.  Explanations can be provided to the State Library by using the "state note" annotation feature in the software.
    • The State Library may also request additional information or supporting documentation, if necessary.
  4. How is the system’s population determined in Section One?
    • The State Library will use population figures supplied by the New York State Data Center and the U.S. Bureau of the Census.  The figures will be based on the 2000 U.S. Census.
    • This data element, Question 1.14, will be pre-filled and locked.
  5. Can the system change pre-filled data elements?
    • Yes.  If the information in a pre-filled “unlocked” data field is incorrect, the reporting system can make corrections and use the “state note” to explain the reason for the change.
    • If the pre-filled information is in a “locked” (grayed-out) data field, please contact Jeffrey Kirkendall by telephone at (518) 486-1330 or by email at in order to make necessary changes.
  6. What is meant by “coordinated services”?
    • These are services coordinated by the system as a service to its members that enhance services/programs and/or provide discounted services.  Examples include, but are not limited to:
      • Purchase of electronic databases (consortia pricing discounts managed by the system)
      • Purchase of library materials that are ordered, processed, and distributed to members
      • Activities, such as staff development, that involve regional cooperation handled by the system
      • Addition of bibliographic records to a larger multi-system database or catalog
      • Purchase of hardware/software, often at discounted prices
  7. What is included in “By-Laws” in Section 2, Question 2.1?
    • By-laws are standing rules that govern the system’s operation, and should include sections concerning the organization name, board make-up as well as board elections and/or appointments, committee structure, etc.
    • By-laws may not supersede Education Law or Commissioner’s Regulations.  A statement to this effect should be included at the end of the By-Laws.
  8. Who is included in the “current list of members” requested in Section 1, Question 1.11?
    • Provide the URL to the system’s current member list, including libraries, library systems, and organizations.
  9. What is meant by “Special Client Groups” in Element 2, Question 4.10?
    • CR 90.17 requires the system to make a concerted effort to reach hospitals through system products and services under the Hospital Library Services Program in Ed. Law 272 and 273(4)(c).  Other targeted efforts may be described, supporting the LSTA purpose 5.
    • Examples of special client groups include, but are not limited to:
      • Educationally disadvantaged
      • Members of ethnic or minority groups in need of special library services
      • Unemployed or underemployed and in need of job placement assistance
      • Geographically isolated
      • Blind or visually impaired
      • Physically disabled
      • Developmentally disabled
      • Learning disabled
      • Patrons who are in institutions, such as hospitals, youth facilities, nursing homes, developmental centers, psychiatric centers, extended day care centers, etc.
    • List each group for which the system provides targeted outreach, followed by separate goals and results for each group.
  10. What is meant by “Development Services” in Element 4, Question 4.13?
    • It means any routine or specialized assistance provided to members by phone, email, FAX, or visits by system staff.  Developmental services may include a multitude of topics, such as technology, advocacy, purchasing, collection development, etc.
  11. Systems and its member libraries advocate every day.  Why are goals required for this activity in Element 6, Question 4.16?
    • These are not routine, everyday advocacy efforts that are required under this element, but rather identified, sustained efforts to further the goals of the system and its member libraries at many levels.  Efforts should be directed to local, system-wide, state-wide and national audiences.
  12. Are systems required to complete the “Other” questions, for example: following:  Element 1, Question 4.8?
    • No.  These are “optional” and provided in case there are major goals that do not fit within the elements listed.
    • Please include the “topic(s)” if you are completing these optional elements.
    • If the system is not using the “Other” option, please enter N/A in all the data entry fields of one repeating group.
  13. The Assurance, Question 4.20, states that the Plan was "reviewed and approved by the Library System Board on (date)".
    • If “Board approved” means that the Plan of Service will be submitted to the State Library weeks or months after the April 1, 2011, due date, (or April 1, 2012 in an extension situation) we suggest that the system enter the date of the next Board meeting, enter a state note indicating the date approval of the Plan of Service is scheduled to be on the agenda of a Board meeting, and submit the Plan.
  14. Where do we list “activities” that support the goals in Section 4?
    • The Plan of Service is focused on goals, intended results (outcomes) and evaluation methods.
  15. How often may the Plan of Service be revised?
    • As often as needed when there are major changes to the Plan.  Revisions are due to the State Library by April 1st for implementation on July 1st of the same year.  The revisions must be approved by the State Library.
  16. Are revisions to the Plan of Service submitted online?
  17. Whom should we call with questions about the Plan of Service content?
    • Call your system’s regional consultant at the State Library, Barbara Lilley, by telephone at (518) 486-4864 or by email.
  18. What if I am having technical difficulties with the software?
    • Call Baker & Taylor's Informata Division Customer Support (toll free) at 1-866-785-9935 between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (Eastern), Monday through Friday, or Jeffrey Kirkendall by telephone at (518) 486-1330.
Last Updated: October 28, 2014