New York State Library

Central Libraries

Public Library Systems in New York State maintain a central library that provides extended public hours and a strong research and reference collection for community use.

Questions? Please contact Frank Rees, Public Library System Services Program Manager, at

Central Library Services Aid Guidelines

Effective November 3, 2021, Central Book Aid (CBA) and Central Library Development Aid (CDLA) are now combined into a streamlined, flexible State aid funding program called Central Library Service Aid (CLSA). The following guidelines are intended to supplement the provisions of Education Law 273(1)(b) while adhering to the provisions of Commissioner's Regulation 90.4 Central library services aid:

  1. Expenditures of CLSA funds should be consistent with the goals identified in the Central Library Plan of the library system’s approved Five-Year Plan of Service.
  2. CLSA funds should be used to acquire and make widely available library materials and information in multiple formats and to provide reference and information services (including staff costs) to all residents of the public library system’s service area.
  3. CLSA funds may be used to purchase library resources in any format.
  4. CLSA funds may be used to support the required 55 open hours per week, including non-duplicative branch hours at the central library’s main building or branch, but should not be used to supplant local library responsibility for the central library’s minimum hours open per CR 90.2.
  5. CLSA funds may be used for equipment, furnishings, and minor remodeling in the central library’s main building or branch building.

Additional Resources

New York State Laws and Regulations of the Commissioner of Education

The Division of Library Development maintains a comprehensive list of laws and regulations pertaining to libraries in New York State, including citations for central libraries.

Library Funding, State Aid and Grants in New York State

The Central Library Services Aid program provides State Aid to public library systems for one central library or, in a few cases, two co-central libraries in each of the 23 public library systems. View allocation charts and formulas associated with this program.

Last Updated: June 28, 2023