Recommendations of the Regents Commission on Library Services
Make these ten recommendations a reality to give New York's residents a competitive edge in the new century.
- Create NOVEL, the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library, to deliver high-quality, reliable digital information and provide access for all New Yorkers. New York must help close the achievement gap between those with easy access to information resources and those left out of the electronic revolution.
- 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. The place to establish the foundations for information literacy is in the schools.
- 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. All New Yorkers should live in a community that has access to, and supports, a quality public library.
- 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.
- 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. Even the most motivated library staff cannot offer quality service to their communities if library buildings are inaccessible or crumbling and cannot accommodate technology.
- Improve the capacity of New York’s urban public libraries to meet the unique needs of their diverse, densely populated communities. New York’s urban libraries must have the support needed to enable them to meet the unique demands of inner-city populations, including a rapidly increasing number of new Americans.
- 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. New York’s libraries should provide people of all ages with learning opportunities outside a formal school setting.
- 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. New York must increase citizens’ access to the resources of its academic, special, and research libraries while ensuring that fragile materials are preserved for future generations.
- Support and enhance a highly skilled library workforce to meet the needs of New Yorkers. Electronic technologies and an increasingly diverse society have transformed library service and the skills necessary to deliver them.
- Provide leadership and advocacy for change by strengthening the expertise and accountability of the New York State Library and by creating a statewide advocacy coalition.