Library System Plan of Service

Frequently Asked Questions
Public Library Systems
Plan of Service 2007-2011

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  1. Will separate plans for state aided programs for library systems be required?
    • Some separate plans have been incorporated in the new Plan of Service format. Systems will provide URLs for discrete plans, such as Central Library Services and Direct Access. The goals and intended results entered on Q5.20 replace the former separate Construction Plan.
  2. How will the system 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?
    1. The State Library will notify the system director by email. Online plans will be "unlocked" so that the appropriate corrections/changes can be made and the plan resubmitted. Explanations can be provided using the "state note" software feature.
    2. The State Library may also request additional information or supporting documentation, if necessary.
  4. How is the system's population determined in Section One?
    1. The State Library will use population figures supplied by the New York Data Center and the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The figures will be based on the 2000 census.
    2. This data element, Q1.14, will be pre-filled and locked.
  5. Can the system change pre-filled data elements?
    1. Yes. If the information in pre-filled "unlocked" data fields is incorrect, the reporting system can make corrections and use the "state note" to explain the reason for the change.
    2. If the pre-filled information is in a "locked" data entry field (grayed-out), please contact Maria Hazapis by telephone at (518) 486-1330 or by email at in order to make necessary changes.
  6. Is it necessary for the system to have a Cooperative Collection Development Plan (CCD)?
    • No, a CCD Plan is not required; however, Cooperative Collection Development is a required element in Section 5, Resource Sharing, Q5.2, and must be addressed.
  7. What is meant by "Levels of Service" in Section 3, Q3.2?
    1. Basically, this section should delineate "fee" vs. "free" services provided by the system.
    2. "Levels of Service" is new to the Plan of Service. Based on state aid to the library system, list separately those services/programs provided to members at no cost.
    3. List separately those services/programs provided to members on a fee-based structure. Examples are automation/technology, ILL, staff development, etc.
  8. 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
  9. What is included in "By-Laws" in Section 2, Q2.1?
    1. By-laws are standing rules that govern the system's operation and should include sections concerning organization name, board make-up as well as board elections and/or appointments, committee structure, etc.
    2. 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.
  10. Who is included in the "current list of members" mentioned in Section 3, Q3.1?
    • Provide the URL to the system's current member list (public and association libraries).
  11. Does the new five-year Plan of Service require systems to submit a new Central Library Services Plan?
    • Yes. Systems will provide the URL on the system web site for the 2007-2011 Central Library Services Plan on Element 11, Central Library Services, Q5.21.
  12. Should the system and the central library collaborate with member libraries in the development of the Central Library Services Plan?
    • Yes. Systems should indicate the groups involved, and their roles, in the development of the Central Library Services Plan on Q4.4.
  13. Should the Central Library Services Plan follow the same format as the system's plan?
    • The Central Library Services Plan should include goals, intended results and methods of evaluation.
  14. May the central library use its long-range plan, required to meet minimum public library standards, in lieu of a new Central Library Services Plan?
    • No. The Central Library Services Plan should address central library services to the system's service area and should cover the same five-year period as the system's Plan of Service (2007-2011). Integration of the Central Library Plan with the system's Plan of Service should be described on Q4.5.
  15. In Element 3, Q5.10: What is meant by "Special Client Groups"?
    1. CR 90.3(j) requires the system to make a concerted effort to reach special client groups through system products and services under the Coordinated Outreach Services Program in Ed. Law 273. This is similar to "specialized outreach" to individual groups who may not be aware of, or are not able to take advantage of, traditional public library services and resources.
    2. Examples of special client groups must 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
      • Physically disabled
      • Developmentally disabled
      • Learning disabled
      • Patrons who are in institutions, such as hospitals, youth facilities, nursing homes, developmental centers, psychiatric centers and extended care centers, etc. (NOTE: services to correctional facilities are described in Element 3 - Special Client Groups, Correctional Facilities, Q5.11)
    3. List each group for which the system provides targeted outreach, followed by separate goals and results for each group.
  16. Where do we include goals for the State Corrections and County Jails Programs?
    1. These are included in Element 3 - Special Client Groups, Correctional Facilities (State and Local) on Q5.11. Separate goals and results are required for each program; these are not the same as those listed in Q5.10, which covers the outreach target groups identified in Education Law 273(1)(h)(1).
    2. If the system does not receive State aid for its work with State correctional facilities, include here only those goals and results for the aid for work with county jails.
  17. What is meant by "technical assistance" in Element 5, Q5.15?
    • It means any routine or specialized assistance provided to members by phone, email, FAX, or visits by system staff. Technical assistance may include a multitude of topics, such as technology, advocacy, purchasing, collection development, etc.
  18. Systems and its member libraries advocate everyday. Why are goals required for this in Element 7, Q5.17?
    • 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 could be directed to local, system-wide, state-wide and national audiences.
  19. Is a separate Construction Plan still required in addition to the goals and intended results in the 2007-2011 Plan of Service?
    • No. A separate Construction Plan is not required. The goals and intended results entered on Q5.20 of the 2007-2011 Plan of Service replace the former separate Construction Plan required for State aid under CR 90.12.
  20. What focus should the goals and intended results for construction take in the Plan of Service?
    • Some examples of areas to address in the plan include, but are not limited to:
      • Increased and improved building space/capacity
      • Increased energy conservation
      • Accessibility to facilities and library programs for persons with handicapping conditions
      • Increased library services to persons living in geographically isolated areas
  21. Are systems required to have a Direct Access Plan?
    1. Yes, a Direct Access Plan is required by CR 90.3(b). The system must provide the URL of the most recent Plan approved by the New York State Library on Element 12, Q5.22.
    2. Revisions to the approved Direct Access Plan are not required prior to submission of the Plan of Service unless the system wishes to revise its Direct Access Plan at this time.
  22. Are systems required to complete the following: Element 1, Resource Sharing - Other (Q5.5); Element 2, Technology Services - Other (Q5.8); Element 3, Special Client Groups - Other (Q5.13); or Element 13, Other (Q5.23)?
    1. No. These are "optional" and provided in case there are major goals that do not fit within the elements listed.
    2. Please include the "topic(s)" if you are completing this element.
    3. If the system is not using the "Other" option, please enter N/A in all the data entry fields of one repeating group.
  23. The assurance 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 October 2, 2006, due date, we suggest that you enter the date of the next Board meeting, enter a state annotation stating that the Plan of Service is scheduled to be on the agenda at the Board meeting scheduled on (date), and submit the plan.
  24. Where do we list "activities" that support the goals in Section 5?
    • This has been eliminated as a requirement in the 2007-2011 Plan of Service. The Plan of Service is now focused on goals and intended results (outcomes) and evaluation methods.
  25. How often may the Plan of Service be revised?
    • As often as needed when there are any major changes to the plan.
  26. Will future revisions to the Plan of Service be submitted online?
    • Yes. Details will be provided at a later date.
  27. Whom do we call with questions about Plan of Service content?
  28. 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 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (Eastern), Monday through Friday, or contact Maria Hazapis in DLD at (518) 486-1330, or
Last Updated: November 10, 2010