New York State Library | Annual Report 2008
An Education Leader
The State Research Library’s collection includes the Education Resource Information Center (ERIC), as well as lesson plans on labor history, curriculum packets on New York’s early Dutch history, and virtual exhibits that let teachers bring historic documents like the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation into the classroom.
On-site and online programs for educators fuel teaching and learning. Onsite workshops in 2008 enabled teachers to use the Library’s unique collections to help students meet new learning standards. A series of onsite programs initiated in 2008 gave middle and high school students hands-on experience using library resources, helping to ensure they are college and workforce ready.
With support from the Anna K. and Mary E. Cunningham Trust Fund, the Library’s research residencies foster independent studies on New York State history and draw scholars from around the world. The Quinn-Library Research Residency For 2008, generously supported by the Doris Quinn Foundation, promotes specialized research in Dutch-related documents and printed materials in the Library’s collections. Funded studies have focused on business women in 19th-century Albany, the impact on settlement and conflict of the environmental history of the upper Hudson-Champlain corridor, and Yankee/Dutch ethnic relations in colonial Albany. Projects in 2008 include an examination of how historic energy technology can inform current efforts towards energy sustainability.
Dynamic and Collaborative Leadership
The State Research Library teams with leading organizations to streamline and promote statewide information delivery services. It is the only state library to qualify for membership in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and brings the largest single collection to the Information and Delivery Services (IDS) initiative of SUNY, and serves on the advisory board of Nylink, a statewide library network to facilitate access to high-quality and cost-effective information resources.
In 2008 the State Research Library joined LAND (Libraries and Nylink Deliver) to bring higher performance standards to interlibrary sharing of information materials. As one of the founding members of The New York State Higher Education Initiative (NYSHEI), the Library partners with other public and private academic and research libraries on initiatives, like the 2008 Academic Research Information Access (ARIA) proposal, to provide New York’s researchers, scientists, and businesses with statewide information access.
Collaborating with partners from over ten thousand cultural education institutions, the State Research Library is working to ensure both preservation of and online access to New York’s unique historical treasures and research by developing the New York Digital Collection Initiative.
Ensuring Access for All New Yorkers
The New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) serves New Yorkers in 55 upstate counties. One of the five largest lending libraries of its kind in the nation, TBBL is the Regional Library for Upstate New York in the nationwide program coordinated by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), a division of the Library of Congress, in Washington DC. New Yorkers with disabilities receive Braille and recorded books and magazines and the necessary equipment to enjoy them from TBBL- free of charge. With plans for a transition to digital book format underway, TBBL’s borrowers will enjoy lighter, faster, easier-to-use technology in early 2009.
In 2008 TBBL’s cassette of Carl Carmer’s The Tavern Lamps Are Burning: Literary Journeys Through Six Regions and Four Centuries of New York State (D. McKay, 1964) will be available nationally through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. This rich collection of amusing and beguiling upstate New York history and folklore was recorded for TBBL by the American Foundation for the Blind and will be the first recording submitted by New York State to the national book service.
The Library’s Prisoner Services Project provides free copies of legal materials to inmates in state correctional facilities. In the first half of 2008, the Library responded to 10,643 requests through this project.
TBBL works with volunteer groups throughout the region to keep their specialized cassette players operating. Sixty machine repair volunteers, including many from The General Electric Volunteer Repair Group, ensure that New Yorkers who rely on talking books continue to have free access to reading material.