Overview and Guidelines: 2019-2022

Family Literacy Library Services Program:
"Ready to Read at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems"
Announcement and Guidelines:  2019-2022

Application Deadline: Monday, April 1, 2019


The New York State Library announces, “Ready to Read at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems,” a 2019-2022 Family Literacy Library Services formula allocation program to help public library systems work with libraries and other partners to significantly improve the quality of public library early learning services. The overall theme and purpose of the 2019-2022 Family Literacy Library Services Program is to increase the number of public libraries statewide with the expertise and resources to assist families with young children in developing the early literacy skills needed to succeed in the school years ahead. This 2019-2022 program will provide funding to public library systems only. Funds will not be awarded directly to libraries during this program cycle.

What is the “Ready to Read at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems” Family Literacy Library Services Program?

The Family Literacy Library Services Program is a State-funded program which helps libraries offer services which will improve parents’ and caregivers’ ability to develop crucial early literacy skills in their children. The program is based in Education Law § 273 1 h (3), and Commissioner’s Regulations 90.3 (m). Education Law provides up to $300,000 annually for this program.  

How much funding is available to public library systems for 2019-2022?

The 2019-2022 program cycle will run from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2022 with funds provided annually. Funds will be allocated to public library systems based on a formula approved by the State Education Department. (System 2019-2022 Family Literacy formula allocations) These allocation amounts are based on statutory funding levels. Actual appropriations available for 2019-2020, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 will be determined in the State budget, which is scheduled for adoption by April 1 of each year. If a public library system does not submit an eligible project proposal, the unused funds will be allocated proportionally among the approved public library system projects according to the Family Literacy Library Services Program formula.

While there are no local matching requirements, public library systems will be expected to report on how they have leveraged State funds and to report system and member library in-kind and matching contributions in the final report for each year of the project. 

Who can apply?

Applicants for this funding cycle will be public library systems. Public library systems may collaborate with member libraries, other library systems, and organizations with similar early learning goals. In all cases, payments will be made directly to public library systems and the system will be entirely responsible for budgets, appropriate use of funds, and all reporting requirements. Applicants are required to identify a project manager at the library system who will also be the contact person for project reports and budgetary information. Applicants are also required to identify a second contact person for the project, in the event the project manager is not available.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

The 2019–2022 projects must enhance early literacy services for families, including parents and/or caregivers and young people. Projects may also provide the resources that support library programs and services for families with young children.

Library systems may develop system-wide projects or may partner with other systems for regional or statewide projects, including training about the provision of early learning services in public libraries. Systems may also develop projects that deliver early learning services through member public libraries and branches. All libraries that participate in training and that provide these services will report to the system and will follow the same fiscal guidelines as the system which has received the funds.

What are some examples of best practices for “Ready to Read at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems" Family Literacy Library Services project activities?

  • Programming that assists staff and volunteers at libraries, as well as parents, caregivers and others to gain early literacy expertise through training and staff development.
  • Projects, programming and other activities that engage young families in continuous learning anywhere and everywhere – through community partnerships, intergenerational experiences, digital learning, STEM, and new and evolving technologies.
  • Programming and activities that bring previously non-library-using families and early childhood organizations into the library and encourage them to become lifelong library users.
  • Projects that include partnerships with childcare providers, pre-schools, schools, and/or early childhood organizations including Ready to Read at New York Libraries partners such as: Head Start, NYS Infancy Leadership Circles, Public Broadcasting Stations, and Reach Out and Read. For partnership information, visit the Ready to Read at New York Libraries website - Partner Organization Page.
  • Library services and materials for underserved populations including off-site services
  • Projects that develop and/or test evaluation tools for library services to families, parents, young children and caregivers


Project Funds May Be Used For:

  • Contracts for project services, e.g. programs, planning, publications, trainers, evaluators
  • Stipends to member libraries for staff to attend early literacy training
  • Early literacy library materials for children ages birth to Kindergarten age and/or parents
  • Project supplies and materials (NEW - this category includes any equipment costing less than $5,000 per item).
  • Project publicity
  • Project-related travel
  • Evaluation and publication of a report for project replication
  • Other purposes directly related to project success

Project Funds May Not Be Used for:

  • Personnel costs (salaries and/or benefits)
  • Equipment costing $5,000 or more per item (NEW)
  • Replacing system or library operating funds which are already used to support ongoing programs and services
  • Building modification, construction, renovation or maintenance
  • Overhead and administrative costs


Online Application

All application materials, program reporting information, and contact information for a project manager and a secondary project contact person must be submitted using the project application software. The project manager is responsible for completing all application and reporting information. The library system director is responsible for approving and submitting all applications and reports through the online system.

Project Manager and Project Contact

The public library system must agree to identify a project manager who is employed by the library system, has expertise in this area, and who will also be the project contact person. Each applicant will also agree to immediately notify the New York State Library’s Family Literacy Library Services Program Manager and update the information in the application software (Initial Application Form Cover Page), if the project manager changes or if contact information changes. Project managers are responsible for conveying this information to all partners and participants. Applicants are also required to identify a second contact person at the library system for the project, in the event the project manager is not available.

Partnerships with Outside Organizations

Systems and libraries are strongly encouraged to partner with other early literacy/early learning organizations. Partnership organizations should be named and their role in the project identified in the application. There is a new section of the online application form where the system can name a partner organization. For the purpose of the Family Literacy Library Services Program, member libraries are not considered to be outside partnership organizations.

Community Need

Documentation of a need in the community for increased early literacy services and the need for enhancement of public library staff early literacy skills and knowledge must be included in the application.

Project Evaluation

The application must include an evaluation plan for the project consisting of quantitative and qualitative measures and an explanation of how evaluation results will be used.

The evaluation plan must include outputs and outcomes.

  • Outputs are a direct program product such as number of workshops given, number of participants served, and types of materials developed. Outputs are typically measured in numbers because they are basically quantitative.
  • Outcomes show changes in the target audience skills, attitudes, knowledge, behavior or status as a result of the activities of the project. Measuring outcomes requires project planners to focus on the desired change for the participants and plan for how best to measure that change.  

More information on outcome-based evaluation measures

Promotional Plan

Description of a means for disseminating information about project design, implementation, results, and potential for replication should be included.

Publications and Other Products

By completing and submitting the application, the applicant agrees to the following requirement: All products, regardless of format or method of distribution and including Internet web sites, which are created totally or in part under a Family Literacy Library Services Program, will include the following acknowledgement: "This publication (product) was supported by (or "in part by") funds from the New York State Library’s Family Literacy Library Services Program.”

Project managers are responsible for conveying this information to all partners and participants.


The application process for the 2019-2022 “Ready to Read at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems,” Family Literacy Library Services Program is online. System staff will need to obtain a user name and password in order to access the online application. All applications will be submitted online. The application covers all three years of the program and must include:

  • Project Manager and additional contact
  • Partner Organization(s)
  • Narrative - each narrative section should be limited to one page in length.
    • Abstract- a brief one-paragraph synopsis of the project's purpose and target group suitable for sharing with the general public.
    • Need, Target Audience
      • Project Need and Target Audience- Provide documentation of a need in the community for such a project.
    • Project Description
      • Project Goals and Objectives- What are the project's goal(s) and objective(s).
      • Activities- Briefly describe the activities planned to accomplish each objective
      • Timetable- Provide a time-line of project activities for each of the three years.
    • Evaluation
      • Project Outputs- What will you measure to provide quantitative data about your project’s service or product outputs?
      • Project Outcomes- What will you measure to show the outcomes or impact of your services or products on the identified target population?
      • Measuring Project Outcomes- How will you measure the outcomes?
    • Budget– each narrative section should be limited to one page in length
      • Funded categories are limited to: Purchased Services, Supplies/Materials (include here any equipment costing less than $5,000 per item), and Travel.
      • Describe how program funds will be used to support the project activities and contribute to program goals.
      • List monetary amounts anticipated for each of the 3 years of the program for each funded category.
      • Other Funding Sources- List the dollar amount and source of other funds or in-kind services, provided by the applicant and any partner separately for each year, to be used to carry out the project.


Final Reports for each year will be submitted online and will be due:

  • For the period July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020 (due August 1, 2020)
  • For the period July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 (due August 1, 2021)
  • For the period July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022 (due August 1, 2022)
  • Final reporting for entire three-year cycle for period July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2022 (due August 1, 2022)


Task Date/Time

Applications are due

Submit online by Monday,
April 1, 2019

Applications Approved

June 2019

Official Project Start Date

July 1, 2019


Submit application online by April 1, 2019.  NOTE: Applications will be submitted through the online system– no other form of submission will be accepted.



  • Visit the State Library’s website
  • Please email questions about these guidelines or the 2019-2022 Family Literacy Library Services Program to: DLDLP@nysed.gov
  • Or, contact Natalie McDonough, Library Development Specialist at 518-486-2194.
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Last Updated: May 9, 2019 -- sm