A Final Review: Implementation of the Recommendations of the Regents Commission on Library Services, 2000 to 2010
DRAFT May 2011

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A Letter from the State Librarian

Public, school, academic, and special libraries and library staff members across the State play a major role in the lives of New Yorkers of all ages, providing free access to technology, programs and classes, materials in a variety of formats, and a community meeting space. 

In 1998, the Board of Regents charged a Commission on Library Services to develop and create a set of policy recommendations to improve library services for all New Yorkers.  In 2000, the Commission completed its charge, presenting the Board of Regents in July of that year with a final report and ten recommendations.  The Regents adopted the report, Meeting the Needs of All New Yorkers: Library Services in the New Century, in its entirety as statewide library policy.

Since the adoption of the Commission’s report ten years ago, the New York library community has made great strides in achieving the challenging new goals set for library services.  Now at the ten year anniversary of this document, the State Library has created this implementation report highlighting many of the programs and projects which have assisted in strengthening libraries and library services since 2000. 

This document, A Final Review: Implementation of the Recommendations of the Regents Commission on Library Services, 2000-2010, provides an opportunity to reflect upon all that has been accomplished during the past decade as well as to identify challenges for the future, creating an important foundation for the development of a new statewide plan for library services going forward.

 Sincerely,

Berrnard A. Margolis
New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries

Executive Summary

Libraries today are more essential than ever given the dramatic changes in the economy, technology, and education during the past decade. The number of New Yorkers visiting our libraries continues to grow and is higher than ever. The appetite of the public for an ever-expanding menu of books, digital tools, online resources and materials usable both in the library and 24/7 from home, school or work is insatiable. E-books, e-journals, audiobooks, online courses, teleconferencing, video
streaming – the list goes on and on. An aging and diverse population seeks materials, programs and special services in multiple formats and languages. Parents turn to the library for research-based early literacy programs that engage children in reading and provide them a firm foundation for future achievement. Jobseekers and career changers seek out assistance
from library staff with resumes, interviews and online applications. Our school and academic libraries are at the center of learning and research.

As public demand for library services grew over the past ten years, public funding, particularly at the State level, did not keep pace with demand; State funding was stagnant in the early 2000s. A much needed bump up in 2007 to $102 million has now been erased with subsequent reductions of 22% during the past four years. In 2011, State support for libraries is now at $79 million – less than the 1995 level.

The lack of consistent and stable State and local funding creates ongoing challenges for libraries. Through careful planning, innovative collaboration and strategic leveraging of federal, state, local and private funds, New York’s libraries and libraries systems have done their very best to meet the growing needs of New Yorkers for library services and programs with limited resources.

In 2000, the New York State Board of Regents Commission on Library Services issued its final report and ten recommendations "to deliver 21st century library services to all New Yorkers." Those recommendations, constituting a bold policy to transform New York's libraries, quickly became Regents policy. Since then, many changes and advances have been made toward integrating these recommendations into the practices of all libraries and library systems across the State. While there have been positive and notable achievements over the past decade, libraries and library systems now face many new challenges as they strive to provide the best services possible for all New Yorkers.

This document is a final review of the implementation of the ten recommendations; similar reviews
of the Commission’s recommendations were conducted in 2004 and 2007. It includes (1) an assessment of the progress made toward implementation of the recommendations set forth by the Regents Commission on Library Services, and (2) identification of several remaining challenges within the context of the Regents Commission original recommendations. The information for these two sections came from the annual reports all public libraries and library systems submit to the State Library as well as data and information collected by the State Library about key programs and services. In addition, other offices within the State Education Department and key partners such as the New York Library Association, the Library Trustees Association of New York State, the New York Three R’s Directors Organization (NY3Rs) , Public Library Systems Directors Organization (PULISDO) and School Library Systems Association (SLSA) provided information for this important document.

Recommendations 1-10: Selected Implementation Highlights

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

  • NOVELNY has become an indispensable online resource for New Yorkers and for library staff
    through 5,588 participating libraries and library systems.
  • New Yorkers conducted 38.8 million NOVELNY searches in 2010, compared to 1.1 million in 2000.

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.

  • New tools such as the School Library Media Program Evaluation rubric (2010), NOVELNY-Ready Library Technology Levels (2005) and strengthened certification requirements for school librarians (2000) improved program quality.
  • In 2007, the State increased the per pupil amount for School Library Materials Aid from $6.00 to $6.25, the first increase in 7 years.
  • Research studies continue to document the positive impacts of school libraries and school librarians on student achievement, raising test scores from 15-20%.

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

  • There have been 40 new public library districts created over the past ten years and the number of New Yorkers not served by a local public library has decreased from 1.3 million to 945,000 (2000 Census).

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

  • Education law was permanently amended to provide hold harmless for any entities impacted by the 2000 census.
  • The State Library has awarded 594 Service Improvement Grants with $13.3 million in federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds to promote service excellence in all types of libraries through library systems since 2002.

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

  • • Since 2006, the State has provided $14 million a year for a total of $70 million in capital funds for matching public library construction grants. Another $14 million is appropriated for 2011-2012.
  • 475 public library buildings have undergone new construction or major renovations since 2000.

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

  • The Gates Foundation sponsored Spanish-Language Outreach program (2006-2008) trained over 800 library staff on how to reach out to and meet the needs of Spanish speakers in their communities.
  • Urban public libraries have taken a strong leadership role in successfully partnering with multiple community organizations and government agencies to help struggling New Yorkers find employment in a tough economy.

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

  • 12 million young people have participated in Summer Reading at New York Libraries since Summer 2000.
  • Efforts have been made in libraries to increase literacy throughout the state through Adult and Family Literacy programs and sessions for English language learners.
  • The State Library has leveraged local, state, federal and private funding, special grants and key partnerships to support the growth of public access computing, wireless, high speed broadband, teleconferencing and digital literacy training for New Yorkers.
  • New Yorkers now have access to 15,928 computers at 100% of New York’s public libraries.

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

  • Current medical and health care information is readily available to more New Yorkers through special grant projects implemented by the State Library and the reference and research library resources councils.
  • Numerous digital projects and programs have been developed and implemented, allowing users remote access to special collections, documents, manuscripts, and resources which were originally only available in print.
  • Since 2000, almost $8 million has been awarded through over 300 coordinated and discretionary preservation and conservation grants, leading to an increase in education and training, disaster preparedness, and research into preservation technologies.

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

  • Using online technologies, more training than ever before is available to library staff and trustees, strengthening and enriching the library services provided to New Yorkers.
  • Certification requirements for both public and school librarians have been strengthened, providing New Yorkers with a highly skilled workforce that is better equipped to meet growing information needs.

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

  • The State Library has developed and fostered relationships with different State agencies and a wide variety of library organizations, allowing for greater collaboration to meet the needs of New Yorkers.

Recommendation 1

Create NOVEL, the New York Online Electronic Library, to deliver high-quality, reliable digital information to all New Yorkers. (Beginning in 2007, NOVEL was changed to NOVELny.)

Progress Since 2000:

  • Since 2000, the State Library has licensed electronic resources on a statewide basis for free use by thousands of local libraries in order to provide tremendous economies of scale.  There are now 5,588 libraries registered to use NOVELny.external link
  • NOVELny provides an online collection of electronic full-text magazines, newspapers, books, encyclopedias, and other collections for free access through public, academic, and school libraries; special libraries in not-for profit organizations; and remotely from homes and offices by means of a New York State driver license or non-driver ID number.
  • There has been a steady increase in the use of NOVELny resources over the past decade.  The annual number of searches has increased every year, rising to 38.8 million in 2010 from 1.1 million in 2000.
  • The number of visits to the NOVELny portal website increased as a result of the NOVELny Driver License Access Project which started in 2005.
  • Training for staff and library users in the use of new technologies and NOVELny resources is an important element of NOVELny’s growth and ongoing success.  In the past decade more than 22,000 library staff members have received technology training through various programs supported by the State Library.
    • A federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) invitational grant program in 2004 built awareness and promoted use of NOVELny resources through increased training opportunities for library systems and member library staff, students, faculty, businesspeople, media, and the public.
    • Regional NOVELny training sessions are now regularly held for library staff through the library systems.
    • Gates Foundationexternal link grants have supported technology training for over 16,000 public library staff, trustees, and users since 2002 through more than 2,700 training sessions.
    • In 2007, the New York State Library partnered with the New York Library Association (NYLA) through the Gates Foundation Staying Connected II program to bring New Yorkers Training on the Go, providing technology training and online professional development. 366 individuals participated in the one year pilot program, with some taking multiple courses.  482 course codes were distributed.  NYLA continues to offer this online training program.
  • Since 1998, $139 million in Federal E-Rate discountsexternal link have enabled New York’s public libraries to offer free public access to the Internet and adopt other shared technology applications dependent on high speed telecommunications, allowing more users to access NOVELny resources.
  • A 40 member statewide NOVELny Steering Committeeexternal link established in 2002, provides ongoing oversight for the NOVELny project. The Steering Committee members represent academic, public, school, and special libraries as well as the library systems and the State Library. NECAT (NOVELny Electronic Collection Advisory Team) was created in 2003 and advises the State Librarian in the selection of content for NOVELny in order to fulfill the diverse needs of New Yorkers of all ages.
  • Targeted public relations, marketing, and branding efforts by the State Library and libraries across the State introduced millions of New Yorkers to the free electronic resources available through NOVELny.
    • A NOVELny Statewide Education and Information initiative began in 2005 and ended in 2010. A comprehensive public relations plan resulted in the:
      • Development of the popular NOVELny portal website in 2005 which now averages 58,024 hits per month.
      • Downloading of 395,000 branded NOVELny toolkitexternal link marketing materials in both English and Spanish for use by local libraries.
      • Distribution of 2 million NOVELny inserts in both English and Spanish in Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) vehicle registration and driver license renewals.
    • NOVELny recently launched a Facebookexternal link page, providing NOVELny news, training opportunities, online resources, and discussion threads which link users across the State.
    • New York’s library systems include information on NOVELny on their web pages, advise members on access to and use of NOVELny, and incorporate information about NOVELny resources in subject programming for users.
  • “Ask Us 24/7”external link is a virtual reference service available to all New York State residents.  Spearheaded by the Western New York Library Resources Council and supported by other New York Reference and Research Library Resources Councils, the service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week including holidays.  The service is staffed by certified librarians from 43 libraries and library systems across the State including school, public, academic, and special libraries.

Challenges:

  • Approximately 660 libraries, primarily school libraries, are still not participating in NOVELny due to various reasons such as lack of equipment, technology, and funding.
  • New York continues to lag behind other states in term of funding for statewide electronic libraries. New York State ranks 41st out of 50 states in overall per-capita expenditures for statewide database licensing. New York spends 13 cents per capita, while New Jersey spends 41 cents, Alabama 71 cents, Connecticut 57 cents, South Carolina 52 cents, Michigan 26 cents, Texas 38 cents, Ohio 28 cents, and Illinois 17 cents (National Center for Education Statistics: 2008).
  • After ten years, NOVELny is still funded by federal LSTA funds. Forty states support statewide database licensing with state funds. New York State’s population-based federal LSTA funding is declining. New York State budget cuts create maintenance of efforts issues which will have a further negative effect on LSTA funds, threatening NOVELny's existence.
  • Implementation of the Broadband Opportunities for New York Public Libraries: Sustainability Planexternal link will require $22 million in State capital funds to increase broadband access speeds to 100 mbps in each of New York’s 1,080 public library buildings.
  • No state support is targeted to help libraries digitize unique local collections.
  • There are no shared electronic catalogs of the holdings found in every library in New York State.
  • No establishment of Empire QuickLoan which simplifies borrowing and transporting printed library materials across the state.
  • While individual Public Library Systems and Library Resource Councils have used awarded LSTA funds to develop online reference services for their users, there is no statewide 24/7 reference service offered for all New Yorkers, as provided in other states.

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.

Progress Since 2000:

Technology

    • NOVELny is now available in 3,974 public and private school libraries statewide, including non-public and charter schools and includes age-appropriate resources for K-12 students.
      • School librarians and school library system directors are well represented on the NOVELny Steering Committee providing more depth, variety, and insight to the selection process.
    • New and emerging technologies to provide quality library services
      • Automation of 359 school library collections with the help of federal LSTA Database Development Incentive Program grants. (Last awarded 2005-2007 grants cycle).
      • SED School Library Services Associates and State Library staff were included on the 2008-2009 SED Technology Policy Planning Committee and USNY Statewide Technology Plan task-force which helped to develop the vision, goals, and action steps for the new technology plan.  The USNY Statewide Learning Technology Planexternal link was approved by the Board of Regents at the February 2010 meeting.
      • The development of SED Education Design and Technology "Internet Safety"external linkweb pages for the implementation of Education Law 814external link which also included the development of an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) rubric and a call for Internet Safety Content closely modeled on school library resources.
      • Since 1998, schools and school districts across the State have been awarded over $2 billion in federal E-rate discounts, ensuring affordable access to modern telecommunications and information services for students and educators.

    Staffing

    • State Education Department (SED) leadership has strengthened school libraries in multiple ways:
      • The Board of Regents strengthened the certification requirements for school librarians and School Library System administrators in 2000.
      • In 2007 and 2008, two Associates in School Library Services were hired in the Curriculum and Instruction Office, part of the Office of P-12 Education, with central responsibility for school library programs, leadership, support, and technical assistance.
        • Associates in School Library Services, P-12, help increase the capacity of school library systems and provide leadership and support to school library programs through professional development, resource sharing, and technology. They are also working in partnership with School Library Media Section (SLMS)/NYLA and School Library Systems Association (SLSA) in tracking student growth models in use statewide for performance-based assessment of school librarians, as part of the SED reform agenda and Race to the Top.
      • The Affiliate Assembly of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) formally commended the Curriculum Instruction and Instructional Technology Section, part of the New York State Education Department, for its outstanding support of school librarians in New York, in alignment with AASL's learning standards and program guidelines and principles expressed in AASL's mission and value statements.
    • The librarycareersny.orgexternal linkwebsite includes information on how to become a school librarian in New York as well as career opportunities and information on various continuing education and training sessions being offered throughout the state.

    Resources

    Challenges:

    • Approximately 811 public schools, most of them elementary, are without a certified school librarian. Because of this:
      • It is difficult to provide instruction in information literacy skills, select and evaluate resources, collaborate as instructional partners with classroom teachers, and promote and encourage students’ enjoyment of reading.
      • There is a lack of certified school librarians, especially in elementary schools, to collaborate with public librarians to bring the summer reading program to students.
      • School library media resources and instruction are inadequate to support the New York State Learning Standards, new Common Core State Standards, and new assessments.
    • Recently, as communities across New York State face challenging economic times in preparing school budgets for the year ahead, difficult choices were made regarding which education programs and initiatives best prepare all students for higher education, the work force, and citizenship, leaving many schools and students without a certified school librarian in their building and a gap in curricula.
    • State funding:
      • School library resource expenditures have substantially decreased since 1998.
      • State-funded School Library Materials Aid was static until 2007 at $6.00 per pupil when it increased to $6.25 per pupil. The average school library in the United States spent $16.11 per pupil (including books, video/audio resources, and periodicals) in the year New York increased the School Library Materials Aid (NCES, 2009).
    • School Library Systems are struggling to survive.
      • They lack sufficient State funding to carry out mandated requirements in law and regulations.
        • As of 2010, 26 out of 41 school library systems did not meet regulatory staffing requirements.  A growing number have no funding for programs, only for staff. 
          • There are fewer professional development workshops being offered, affecting students, school librarians, and teachers.
          • Technology services are impeded by outdated hardware and software.
          • Fewer resources, print and electronic, are being purchased for students and teachers.

    Recommendation 3

    Promote the availability of local public library service to all New Yorkers and improve local support for public libraries through the formation of Public Library Districts.

    Progress Since 2000:

    • Local communities created 40 new public library districtsexternal link during the past ten years. 26% (195 of 756) of public libraries in New York State are now public library districts.
    • Average local public income for public library districts rose from $59.85 to $91.12, a 52.26% increase; for all other libraries, local public per capita income rose from $29.51 to $42.62, a 44.44% increase.
    • On average, 97% of public library budget votesexternal link are passed each year by the voters.
    • As of September 2010, 354,963 previously "unserved"external link New Yorkers now have a local library. There are still 945,037 New Yorkers without a local library, down from 1.3 million "unserved" a decade ago.
    • Community leaders, government officials, and library leaders now have 24/7 access to online materials to assist in the voluntary creation of public library districts:
    • Since 2000, library leaders have attended numerous public library district expert consultations and training sessions offered by the State Library in partnership with the public library systems.

    Challenges:

    • Currently, there is no incentive aid provided by the State to help and encourage local public libraries to voluntarily implement a public library district model.
    • There is no targeted State aid for public library systems to assist them with the transition at the system level.
    • No targeted State support for the State Library to implement the transition.

    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.

    Progress Since 2000:

    • Funds have been made available through State aid and Federal and private grantsexternal link to strengthen, increase, and encourage new library services
      • In 2007-2008, Education Law was permanently amended to provide hold-harmless for any entities impacted by the 2000 Census (protection for areas that lost population).
      • $3 million in new one-time State funds appropriated for basic library system operations in FY 2006-2007; $8 million budgeted for 2007-2008, $7.8 million for 2008-2009 and $6.9 million for 2009-2010.
      • A new category of Federal LSTA competitive grants called " Service Improvement Grants"external link was established in 2002 with the goal of funding library systems projects targeted at improving the quality of library services in their regions and statewide.
        • Since 2002, the State Library has awarded 594 LSTA Service Improvement Grants totaling $13.3 million. Library systems have used these grants for activities such as staff and user technology training sessions, strengthening community partnerships, and expanding digital collections projects.
    • Training sessions have been offered, helping library staff to better service the users in their communities, design innovative services, and evaluate the impact.
      • Development by the State Library of an "Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE) Website,"external link which is a train-the-trainer curriculum, and statewide "outcome-based evaluation training" for State Library and system staff to improve the quality of library and system services.,Over 300 librarians, including 10 expert trainers have been trained through 21 workshops.  This program was made possible with funding through LSTA and Gates Foundation funds.
      • 800 public library staff and trustees from the State’s smallest public libraries were trained to help increase their capacity to develop community partnerships during the State Library's participation in the Gates Foundation Rural Sustainability Grant Programexternal link from 2005-2007.
      • The State Library partnered with Libraries for the Future (LFF), NYLA, the Public Library System Directors Organization (PULISDO), and others on the Equal Access Projectexternal link (2005-2008), providing 99 public library staff with in-depth training and individual support in adopting and expanding community programming and services in new and innovative ways.
        • The 52 participating libraries from the 11 participating library systems successfully expanded programming and services in new ways to further meet the needs and interest of their communities.
    • Leadership and accountability have been enhanced through collaboration and partnership.
      • The State Library provided new 24/7 online web-based planning, budgeting, and reporting tools for library systems beginning in 2004.
      • In 2006, the State Library developed and launched the SED's first online competitive grant application system. This robust web-based system was developed in collaboration with customers, and is now used by the State Library and the State Archives to effectively manage hundreds of competitive grant projects each year.
      • State Library and library system collaboration over the past decade resulted in significant improvements to each new cycle of the Library System Five-Year Plans of Serviceexternal link. 2012-2016 Five Year Plans will be submitted in 2012.
      • Legislationexternal linkthat provides an added incentive for future mergers of school library systems was passed in 2007.
      • Legislationexternal link amended portions of Education Law in 2005, streamlining and clarifying statutes related to State funding and grants for libraries and library systems.
      • Establishment of a lay board of trustees by the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO), as recommended by the Regents Commission to enhance library system leadership.
    •  The State Library, New York’s Reference and Research Library Resources Councils, and public library systems continue to help libraries in high-needs area especially in receiving significant telecommunications discounts through the federal E-Rate program.
    • Over 99% of public libraries in New York State are meeting the 11 minimum standards of serviceexternal link as adopted by the Board of Regents as Section 90.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Educationexternal link.  The 11 minimum standards encompass administration, evaluation, hours open, facility, and qualified director(s).

    Challenges:

    • No implementation of new funding based specifically on need to raise the level of service to a minimum standard.
    • No State incentives for libraries and library systems to achieve excellence of service through NY EXCELS (New York's Excellent Library Service) Program. This need-based and incentive aid program focuses on the fulfilling the community needs with emphasis on gaining high-speed access to information networks and electronic resources, providing library services in currently unserved areas, increasing hours of service, participation in resource-sharing programs, and increasing the number of skilled and certified staff.
    • No State incentives for public library systems or for reference and research library resources systems considering a voluntary merger.

    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.

    Progress Since 2000:

    • 475 of 1,080 public library buildings have undergone new construction or a major renovation since 2000.
      • Since 2000, 70 new library buildings have been constructed.
    • Data collection on the need for public library construction and renovation measurably improved. The 2010 documented need is over $2.5 billion for 450 buildings.
    • The state has provided a total of $70 million in capital funds for public library construction grantsexternal link ($14 million a year since FY 2006-2007).
      • Public library systems promote the availability of these funds and assist member libraries with applications and project planning.
      • Thus far, the State Library has awarded 728 matching construction grants totaling $56 million for new buildings, additions, ADA compliance, roof replacements, fire and sprinkler systems, and energy efficient projects through installations of HVAC systems, solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling systems.
    • Expanded Construction Program implemented through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) for bonding of funds.
    •  In October 2007, the Board of Regents approved revisions to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education §90.12external link which pertains to state aid for library construction and streamlining program requirements.

    Challenges:

    • Over $2.5 billion is still needed for construction or renovation of more than 450 public library buildings  over the next five years.
    • Libraries in high-need communities continue to have difficulty meeting the required 1:1 match.
      • Legislation has been proposed which would change the required match to 1:3; it is still pending action.

    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.

    Progress Since 2000:

    • Sixty percent of the 41 recruited students receiving scholarships from the State Library’s Federal Librarians for the 21st Century grant project Making It REAL! (2004-2007) were recruited for diversity. Four graduates were recruited to work at urban public libraries.
    • The State Library has partnered nationally and within the State to deliver high-profile programs and services targeted at meeting the unique needs of diverse library users in urban areas and in other underserved areas of the State.
      • Recently, a new law passed in New York City requires schools to distribute information about public library cards to all students.
      • A statewide Spanish-Language Outreach Programexternal link was implemented through partnerships among the State Library, Gates Library Foundation, WebJunctionexternal link, the public library systems, and others (2006-2008).
        • This program offered 48 workshops across the State and reached over 800 library staff members and trustees. Attendees learned how to reach out to Spanish speakers in their communities as well as how to improve their access to library services and public computers.
        • From this program, libraries have reported larger Spanish-language collections, hiring of bilingual staff, ESL classes and tutoring, special events which focus on or integrate Hispanic culture, and offering information in both English and Spanish.
        • In 2008, the final report of this program was awarded the NYLA/Government Information Round Table (GIRT) Notable New York Document Award.
      • The Adult Literacy Library Services programexternal link and Family Literacy Library Services programexternal link continue to provide opportunities for urban libraries to offer or expand offerings of basic literacy services and literacy-related programming and collections for adults over 16, families including adults, children, and caregivers who speak English and those for whom English is a second language. Some programs include English conversation groups, providing resources and services to new immigrants studying for U.S. citizenship and offering workshops on early childhood development and toddler reading programs in a variety of languages.
      • Through State aid to public library systems used for providing system services to state and county correctional facility librariesexternal link, transitional guides have been developed to assist those released from incarceration in several areas of NYS look for work, use public libraries, and locate other specialized resources for ex-offenders.
      • In response to the downturn in the economy in 2008 and overwhelming demands from the unemployed and underemployed for information and assistance, New York’s urban public libraries quickly revitalized and expanded their job search and small business information services, many partnering with Department of Labor One Stops.
        • The State Library had the opportunity to participate in Project Compassexternal link, helping State Library staff to develop job seeking resources to help assist local public libraries with their local workforce development efforts. Through this, the State Library had the opportunity to partner with PBS stations across the State to develop "Help Wanted,"external link a television series aimed at helping families and individuals through the economic crisis.
      • In order to assist local libraries and public library systems in ramping up to better meet the needs of job seekers, the State Library worked in partnership with other State Library agencies, IMLS, the American Library Association (ALA), and the large urban public library systems to initiate new working relationships with organizations such as the New York State Department of Labor, Department of Civil Service, Department of Correctional Services, the State Education Department’s Office of Public Broadcasting, the SED Literacy Zones Project, and local One Stop Centers.
    • Challenges:

      • No new permanent state funding targeted for these services:
        • Expansion of language programs, including both collection development in world languages and programming such as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and citizenship classes.
        • Expansion of branch library hours on weekends and evenings.
        • Improvement of outreach programs for underserved inner-city residents, particularly youth, seniors, the under-and unemployed, and recent arrivals from other countries.
        • Programs and services for people seeking GED and ESOL services.
        • "Summer Reading at New York Libraries" program.
      • Cuts in branch library hours and weekends and evenings.
        • Libraries across the State are experiencing cuts to their operating budgets—these cuts will lead to a reduction of hours open, staff, and materials and resources available to users.
        • There have been increases in number of people who need the services including youth, recent immigrants, the unemployed, and and homeless persons This has led to ahigher demand for services, lengthy waiting periods and lack of adequate services.

      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.

      Progress Since 2000:

      • Libraries across the state offer a variety of programs to members of all ages who live in the community.
        • Since 2000, public libraries have offered over 880,000 programs for adults with over 16 million people attending as well as 306,000 programs for 3.9 million young adults and 1.7 million programs for over 35 million children.
        • Over 240,000 early literacy programs have been offered to over 3.9 million children ages from birth to 5 years old along with their parents and caregivers since 2007.
        • 619,000 children, young adults, and adults who are learning English as a second language have attended over 89,000 programs libraries have offered since 2007.
      • Summer Reading at New York Librariesexternal link encourages readers of all ages to read throughout the Summer months, helping students to maintain their education from the past school year and increase their reading skills and comprehension levels
        • Participation increased from 344,000 in 2000 to 1.5 million young people in 2010, a 340% increase.
        • State Library staff developed a Research Brief: The Importance of Summer Readingexternal link, which has been shared with the Board of Regents and a variety of library and education organizations in New York and nationally.
        • Since 2005, the "Love Your Library" License Plate Programexternal link, established to support the Love Your Library Fund and the Statewide Summer Reading Program, has continued to grow.
      • Several State Library initiatives expanded programs and services to better meet the English, digital, and computer literacy needs of New York's libraries and users
        • Since 2000, the New York State Library has awarded 109 Adult Literacy Library Services Program grantsexternal link, totaling $2.7 million, helping public libraries to partner with schools and other literacy providers to offer library-based education services to improve English language skills on the job and in the home for persons 16 and older. Projects include basic reading, ESOL and computer literacy and training classes, job searching and interview skills workshops, and training and support for library-based tutors.
        • 125 Family Literacy Library Services Program grantsexternal link totaling $3.2 million have been awarded to help public libraries provide library-based family literacy services to children and their parents or caregivers. Projects encouraged fathers and male caregivers of young children to read together, supported free pre-kindergarten at the library, and delivered early literacy training to parents of infants and toddlers so they could be more effective as their young child’s first teacher.
        • State Library participation in the SED Early Childhood Cabinet and other early literacy and parent education initiatives since 2007 have helped to establish public libraries as early literacy providers and create a knowledge base in libraries about the provision of early literacy services.
      • Special grants for public access computing at the library have provided New Yorkers with more free public access to technology than ever before:
        • In 2000, there were 1,181 public access computers in public libraries.  In 2010, there are now 15,928 in public libraries across the State.
        • Since 2000, State Library participation in 8 statewide grants awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Library Foundation has brought $30 million in private funds to New York libraries for improving public access to computers and the Internet.  Most recently:
        • An American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) $9.5 million grant awarded to the State Library (2010-2013) by the Department of Commerce will create Broadbandexpress@yourlibraryexternal link. This program creates 30 public computer centers and 5 E-Mobile units, creating more than 800 new public computer workstations with high-speed broadband connections. The project provides job searching resources and digital literacy training services for the unemployed and underemployed in 41 upstate counties.
        • The appointments of the NYLA Executive Director and the State Librarian as co-chairs of the New York Broadband Development and Deployment Council’s Digital Literacy and Adoption Committeeexternal link enhances a coordinated approach to state policy and action on digital literacy training for all New Yorkers.
      • As technology has changed and improved, most of New York's public libraries are now community anchors for the delivery of public access computing. The need for faster Internet speeds has become increasingly important:
        • Since 1998, $139 million in federal E-Rate discountsexternal link have enabled New York's public libraries to offer free public access to the Internet and adopt other shared technology applications dependent on high speed telecommunications.
        • State Library participation in the Gates Foundation Opportunity Broadband Grant Program (2009-2011)external link upgraded 65 public library buildings to at least a minimum T-1 Internet connection and supported a Statewide Broadband Summit in 2009 which resulted in the Broadband Opportunity for New York Public Libraries: Sustainability Planexternal link.
        • The partnership formed with the New York State Governor's Office for Technology (OFT) led to the State Library being awarded $235,500 as part of OFT's Universal Broadband Access grant program (2009-2010)external link, bringing broadband access to libraries in three isolated areas of the state that lacked Internet connectivity.
        • New York’s three types of library systems (public, school, and research councils) provide extensive training for their members in areas that will assist library users:
          • "Train the trainer" sessions on new software applications and new technology.
          • Creation of information literacy curriculum "continuums" that ensure a smooth high school to college transition for students.
          • Healthy literacy curriculums for students and seniors through projects like CLIC-on-Health.
          • Emerging technologies training enabling libraries to respond proactively to technology development.
        • NYLA recently applied for $1 million to expand digital literacy in New York’s public libraries as part of the State Broadband Data and Development grant program awarded to New York State Office of Cyber Security & Critical Infrastructure’s application through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  If funded:
            • NYLA will provide 48 “train the trainer” workshops across the State over the next 4 years on digital literacy for library staff from all types of public libraries.  The goal is to train 1,440 library staff members, or 10% of the Statewide library staff, who will then train the public at their local public libraries.
            • NYLA will also develop a Digital Literacy reference website which will include information on standards, workshops, curriculum, downloadable workshop handouts, and other instructional materials.

        Challenges:

        • No new state funding targeted to provide services for
          • Promoting English literacy through instruction for adults and families, early-childhood programs, and collections of lifelong learning materials.
            • The State Library was unable to fund 57% of adult and family literacy project applications submitted since 2000.
          • Enhancing users’ information literacy skills.
          • Strengthening library users’ computer skills in using technology to find and manage information.
        • Federal funds continue to be used by the New York State Library to promote and support the statewide summer reading program in New York’s public libraries and library systems.  There is no direct state financial support of this proven literacy program for children, teen, and families.
        • Local Literacy New York affiliate offices have also experienced multiple funding reductions and must compete for funding.  These literacy providers have been strong public library partners in the provision of literacy services.

        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

        Progress Since 2000:

        • State Library borrowing privileges were extended to all adult New York State residents in 2004. As of June 2010, there are 4,300 New York State residents who hold a New York State Library Resident Borrower Card compared to 2,540 in 2007.
        • Digitization projects and programs have been developed and implemented, providing users remote access to special collections, manuscripts, documents, and resources originally available only in print and physical formats
          • The State Library digitization programexternal link is enhancing access to library collections by imaging materials from the Library's historic collection and contemporary New York State agency publications, and collecting born-digital agency documents. Since 2000, 1,434,130 pages have been scanned.
          • State Library staff members have developed over 170 finding aids to Special Collectionsexternal link which provide online access to the guides to manuscript collections that provide additional information beyond the catalog record such as historical notes, scope of content, and descriptive information about the papers within the collections. There are over 150 collections of manuscripts, prints, and family records.
          • The Reference and Research Library Resources Councilsexternal link developed and implemented regional digitization plans and created websites of unique local resources held by their members. Content for these sites continues to be developed by the NY3Rs with the use of Regional Bibliographic Database State aidexternal link and other funds.
          • Using a combination of State, local, and grant funds, the NY3Rs combined their separate sites into one searchable statewide site called NewYorkHeritage.orgexternal link.
          •  Several of the NY3Rs Councils have begun programs that are digitizing historical newspapers and placing them on the web where they are keyword searchable.
          • The New York State Library is among the state library agencies cited for "outstanding assistance" to the University of Illinois Digital Collections and Content Projectexternal link, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The major product of this project is the Opening History portal for U.S. history resources. Its goal is to have every digital collection of historical resources created with support from LSTA funds included in Opening History. The site now has 848 collections from libraries in nearly every state in the country.
            • The State Library worked with New York's nine Reference and Research Library Resource systems to identify and verify collections for inclusion.
        • Academic and research libraries have gained more resources and opportunities to strengthen their services and identify the needs of their users
          • The New York State Higher Education Initiativeexternal link has developed cooperative activities for academic and research libraries statewide.
          • Organized and administered by the NY3Rs, a statewide LSTA-funded LIBQUAL+ Project was completed to help 77 Academic and Research Libraries identify user needs, align resources with user expectations, and improve services, using an Association of Research Libraries outcome-based assessment tool.
          •  The NY3Rs Councils and NYLA produce the Academic Librarians Conference every two years to focus on the needs of academic libraries.
          •  The NY3Rs Councils and the Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization (WALDO)external link partner to provide millions of dollars in cost savings to academic libraries through the shared purchase of electronic resources.
          • Academic groups within New York State — e.g. IDSexternal link and Connect NYexternal link — have created model programs that provide needed library materials to users within 48 hours.
        • Preservation and conservation programs and projectsexternal link have been created and strengthened,making it possible for libraries, archives, and organizations across the State to preserve and microfilm historical documents, offer educational workshops for its members, and purchase equipment to aid in the conservation and preservation process.
          • Since 2000, over 300 coordinated and discretionary preservation and conservation grants have been awarded for a total of almost $8 million.
          • Efforts have been made through grants and programs to ensure that library materials are maintained through preservation efforts, including education and training, expert assistance, disaster preparedness, preservation and conservation services, and research into preservation technologies.
          • The State Library has awarded grants to determine the most effective preservation techniques, controls, and materials, and to ensure that they are incorporated into preservation efforts.
          • Education and training sessions are taking place throughout the year on local and regional levels with assistance from regional and individual grants awarded by the State Library.  Many of these sessions focus on the topic of ensuring the maintenance of collections in appropriate environments and proper preservation priorities.
          • From 2000 to 2008, the New York State Library’s Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials offered 21 special topic workshops in partnership with the Northeast Documentation Conservation Center (NEDCC).
            • These workshops included topics from pest management, disaster preparedness, and preserving specific items such as photographs and oversized materials.
          • NY3Rs Councils on their websites provide information about preservation and care of library materials.  Councils also regularly hold institutes that teach users both preservation techniques and digitization standards and procedures.
        • Medical information programs
          • The State Library and the NY3Rs have received several National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) grants to improve access to health information for all New Yorkers:
            • The Middle Atlantic Region of NN/LM awarded the State Library $20,369 for an “Outreach to Unaffiliated Health Professionals Award” in May 2010.  State Library staff will provide unaffiliated physicians with direct access to the resources they need to deliver high quality medical care, and provide them with training in the effective use of these resources.
            • The Rochester Regional Library Council (RRLC), one of the NY3Rs Councils, received a National Institutes of Health NN/LM grant of $149,260 in 2005 to create a website and training program that partnered public libraries and medical libraries to provide training in consumer health at local senior centers.
            • RRLC also received a $15,000 Planning Grant and a $30,000 “Outreach to Unaffiliated Health Professionals Award” from NN/LM.  Through partnerships with the Genesee Valley Nurses Association, local nursing homes, and others, nurses will be taught how to access and use free professional health information available on NOVELny, PubMed, the Centers for Disease Control and other sites which are all available through a portal on the CLIC-on-Healthexternal link website.
            • HealthCampNYC, a regional health unconference focuses on using collective knowledge to improve health literacy and community health, was held at the Central Library of the Brooklyn Public Library in 2010.
          • The Medical Information Services Programexternal link, started in 1981, made it possible to obtain interlibrary loan services from subcontracting librarians in the Federal Regional Medical Library Program (RML), now known as the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM).
            • Chapter 571 of the Laws of 2003 enabled each of New York's nine reference and research library resources systems to receive State funds directly from the New York State Library to provide a clinical medical and consumer health information services program for libraries and library systems.

        Challenges:

        • No new state funding has been targeted for:
          • Increased access to specialized electronic resources of value to scholars and researchers. (The New York State Library still lacks the means to provide access to research materials through NOVELny).
          • Expanding access to academic and research library information through use of technology and support for resource sharing.
          • The digitization of research materials and providing constant public access to those digital collections.
          • Developing technologies which will automatically gather digital New York State agency publications.
          • Offering incentives which will promote increased on-site access to academic and special libraries.
          • Expansion of medical information programs for librarians, health-care professionals, and consumers.
          • Extensions of programs which allow for the sharing of library materials purchased by academic libraries with shared funds from the State-funded Coordinated Collection Development Aid program.
          • Pilot programs which will enhance library services in support of business and industry.
          • Accelerated programs to ensure the preservation of library materials.

        Recommendation 9

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

        Progress Since 2000:

        • The Regents strengthened professional development requirements for public librarians in 2008. Certificate holders issued a New York State Public Librarian’s Professional Certificateexternal link after December 31, 2009, are now required to complete 60 hours of professional development every 5 years.
        • The Board of Regents also strengthened the certification requirements for school librarians and School Library System administrators in 2000.
        • Since 2000, the State Library has sponsored or supported over 3,600 professional development education events attended by 41,000 people.
        • Library systems and organizations across the State have offered numerous professional development and training opportunities for its members:
          • From 2004-2009, the 23 public library systems have offered over 23,000 continuing education and professional development sessions with over 271,000 public library staff members attending.
          • The 9 Reference and Research Library Resources Systems have offered 2,991 continuing education and professional development sessions with over 45,000 attending between 2004 and 2009.
          • 218,000 participants attended over 12,000 continuing education and professional development sessions lead by the 41 school library systems from 2004-2009.
          • The Library Trustees Association of New York State (formerly NYSALB) established a new trustee certificate program.
        • Using new online technologies, the State Library has partnered with others to significantly increase the number of professional development offerings for library staff and trustees across the State.
          • 21 online teleconferences have been provided by the State Library since 2005 by means of a statewide license through the College of DuPageexternal link (funded with LSTA and Gates Foundation funds).
          • Over 800 public library staff and trustees were trained to develop community partnerships as a result of the State Library’s Gates Foundation Rural Sustainability Grant Programexternal link.
          • In 2009, 500 library staff, including 100 public library trustees, participated in an advocacy workshop entitled "Turning the Page" as part of the State Library's participation in the Gates Foundation Opportunity Online Hardware Grant programexternal link.
          • Since 2006, "Training on the Go" has enabled library staff and trustees to take library-related and technology courses online. To date, over 300 people have participated in this program which is provided by the State Library and NYLA.
          • New York EqualAccess Libraries Instituteexternal link was launched from 2005 to 2008 by the State Library with Libraries for the Future, NYLA, and PULISDO, enabling 99 public librarians from 52 libraries to gain in-depth knowledge and skills in transforming libraries into community centers for information and education.
          • The State Library provided LSTA funding to support the development of Online Trustee Trainingexternal link modules by the public library systems.
        • Tools and resources have been developed to help those who are currently in the library field as well as those interested in entering
          • Making it REAL! Recruitment, Education, and Learning: Creating a New Generation of Librarians to Serve All New Yorkersexternal link, made possible through awarded funds by the federal IMLS, enabled the education and training of 41 librarian recruits in cooperation with the state’s library schools and library systems (60% recruited for diversity).
          • The grant also established the librarycareersny.org website and supported a statewide marketing campaign geared to recruiting more people from diverse backgrounds to the profession. An online professional development calendar function was added to the website in 2009.
          • NYLA established Dewey Library School Scholarships in 2005 with funding from the Lake Placid Foundation (seven $1,500 scholarships -- one for each library school).
          • The 2010 Trustee Handbookexternal link, a valuable resource for library trustees from across the State, was recently updated and is freely available online via multiple websites.
        • NYLA established a Task Force on Librarians in Civil Service to investigate and define issues and obstacles involving the current classification of librarians in the "competitive" class of Civil Service. This task force completed its report in 2009 and recommendations were made to the Department of Labor regarding the librarian civil service exams which were accepted in 2010.
          •  Starting in January 2011, the recommendations will be implemented in regards to the rating scales for the Librarian I and II exams as well as the Library Director I exam
        • The NYLA Leadership and Management Academy was established as an educational program for emerging leaders in the library profession and continues to offer sessions and conferences.
        •  The NY3Rs Councils have offered several seminars and courses on leadership, management, digitization, and library marketing including the WNYLRC/RRLC 2009 Leadership Instituteexternal link, SUNY Geneseo/RRLC Library Leadership Instruction Academy (2010)external link and RRLC’s 2010 Marketing Institute.
        • Four schools of Library Information Science and Policy in New York State now offer distance learning programs, with the University of Buffalo offering the first fully online program in fall 2010.
        • More training opportunities have been made available for library support staff and library trustees, strengthening and expanding the services libraries offer to its users:
          • Since 2007, NYLA has offered one week library assistant/technician training programs at Schenectady Community College, Genesee Community College, Nassau Community College, and Ulster County Community College.
          • The NY3Rs Councils have offered a yearly Library Assistants’ Conference, as well as supporting Library Assistants Special Interest Groups in each region.
          • Starting in January 2010, ALA now offers a Library Support Staff Certificationexternal link program, providing library paraprofessional training and education opportunities.
          • The Library Trustees Association of New York State proposed legislation, S.692 (Farley)/A.2746 (Paulin), which would require six hours of training for new public library trustees.

        Challenges:

        • Lack of strategies to attract and retain librarians in urban areas.
        • Insufficient number of education and training programs for the non-librarian workforce, including paraprofessionals, library managers, and trustees.
        • Efforts to modernize the public librarian certificate program are delayed because the Legislature has not acted on recommended increases in certificate fees from $5.00 to $50.00.

        Recommendation 10

        Provide leadership for change by strengthening the expertise and accountability of the New York State Library and by creating a statewide advocacy coalition.

        Progress Since 2000:

        • Relationships and partnerships have been established and fostered between the New York State Library, libraries and library systems from across the state, and various State and local groups and associations
          • Commissioner's New Century Libraries Leadership meetings held statewide from 2002-2004 to kick off implementation of the Commission recommendations.
          • Strengthening of statewide partnerships to promote libraries—NYLA, Library Trustees Association of New York State, New York State Reading Association, District Superintendents, New York State United Teachers, New York State School Boards Association, Public Television Stations, New York Alliance of Library Systems (NYALS), and others.
          • Collaborative New York Library Association/School Library Media Section (NYLA/SLMS), School Library Systems Association (SLSA), SED P-12 and State Library leadership at state and national levels have helped strengthen school libraries. A 2009 School Library Summit sponsored by SED, NYLA, and SLSA resulted in a two-year work plan designed to improve school libraries and school library systems in the State. From this Summit:
          • Strong partnerships among the State Library, the New York Library Association, the State Education Department, and Governor's Office for Technology have resulted in more visible leadership roles for libraries in regional and statewide technology and connectivity planning.
            • The State Library formed a Broadband Advisory Groupexternal link in 2009 to provide leadership and advice regarding the provision of broadband access for New York libraries.
          • The State Library has worked with NYLA and others to amend Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations, replacing outdated terminology and streamlining process, helping libraries and systems to better meet the needs of their users.
          • As the result of a $75 million nationwide settlement in an antitrust case related to the pricing of music CDs, the State Library and the Attorney General's Office partnered in 2004 to distribute 220,439 free music CDs to New York’s 23 public library systems.
          • Communication among the New York State Library, libraries, and library organizations across the state has improved and continues to strengthen these important relationships.
            • The State Library and NYLA leaders meet annually with the Deans of the seven graduate schools of Information Science and Policy located in the State.
            • Regular conference calls are held with library system directors.
            • State Library leadership uses multiple methods to keep libraries supported and informed about important issues including listservs, websites, newsletters, and emails.
            • The State Library maintains a visible presence at priority statewide and regional meetings held across the state throughout the year.

            Challenges:

            • Difficulties in maintaining State Library-based education and efforts to generate library support due to staff shortages and budget and travel restrictions on state, system, and local levels.

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Last Updated: April 3, 2014 -- asm