The goals of the Research Library of the New York State Library in developing its collections are:
- To provide reference information and materials in all formats to support the work of New York State government;
- To back up libraries throughout New York State with in-depth information in subject areas designated by the Collection Development Policy;
- To provide access to electronic information for all New Yorkers via libraries;
- To be an in-depth source of information about New York State: its history, government, cultural and physical environment.