LSTA Brochure

Now, more than ever, New Yorkers are using library services.

child holds up a new library card

LSTA funds help ensure that New Yorkers have what it takes
to compete and succeed in today’s economy.

Fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Program at $206 Million.

  • Oppose the President’s Budget to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
  • Support funding for IMLS and for LSTA.
  • New Yorkers are benefitting from $8 million in federal funding to libraries through the LSTA program in FY 2020.
  • Employment information services, early literacy and adult literacy programs and access to high-quality electronic resources are among the vital library services these funds support.
  • Although Federal funds represent less than one percent of library expenditures in New York State, their impact is great, as they leverage state and local funds and fuel innovation.
SED Seal NYS Library logo

New York State Library
The State Education Department

What Does the LSTA Program Mean for New York?

The Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program provides federal funds that help support local libraries throughout New York State. The program encourages the blending of local, state, and federal resources to build and enhance library services for all New Yorkers.

The LSTA program helps provide these services to New York’s library users in their communities

  • Job and consumer health information.
  • Access to timely, accurate online information that is not available free on the Internet.
  • Access from home, school, or office to full-text electronic information updated and maintained by librarians.
  • Training in new computer technology.
  • Literacy programs for adults and families.
  • Marketing, demographic, and other information crucial to small businesses.

The New York State Library distributes LSTA funds through statewide services that support library programs at New York’s 7,000 libraries, 72 library systems, and the New York State Library:

  • Programs that enable libraries to provide high-quality computer and Internet services to their communities.
  • Projects that provide equitable access to technology by supporting cooperative efforts among New York’s 7,000 libraries, 72 library systems, and the New York State Library.
  • Projects that provide special services that contribute to better access to information for all community residents, such as adult and family literacy programs.

LSTA funds help New Yorkers in densely populated urban centers, sparsely populated rural regions, and ethnically and economically diverse communities through these services:

  • Counseling and job information for returning veterans and others.
  • Programs to help at-risk preschoolers develop literacy skills.
  • Promotion of literacy in family environments.
  • Training for entrepreneurs in the skills needed to research and develop their plans for small businesses.
Summer Reading at New York Libraries logo

The LSTA program supports Summer Reading at New York Libraries, which helps children develop a love for reading and maintain reading skills learned during the school year:

  • Research shows that library summer reading programs impact student achievement and test scores and help prevent learning losses over the summer.
  • More than any other public institution, including schools, public libraries contribute to the intellectual growth of children from diverse backgrounds.
  • More than 2.5 million children and teens from throughout New York State participated in the 2019 Summer Reading at New York Libraries program.
[NOVELny logo]

New York State's Online Library supports New York’s continued leadership in the information economy:

  • Statewide access to online information in major commercial databases is available to all New Yorkers through 5,900 libraries and a statewide site. Searches rose to 44 million in 2019.
    • Encyclopedia Britannica with a version in Spanish
    • Gale Academic OneFile
    • Gale Academic OneFile Select
    • Gale General OneFile
    • Gale In Context: Middle School
    • Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints
    • Gale OneFile: Computer Science
    • Gale OneFile: Educator’s Reference Complete
    • Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine
    • Gale OneFile: Informe Académico
    • Gale OneFile: News (including New York State newspapers such as The New York Times)
    • Gale’s Business Insights: Essentials
    • Gale’s Kids InfoBits
instructor and several teen students man reading newspaper in library children enjoying a library storytime librarian reading to several young children kids using library computers a library program featuring balloons

LSTA Funds at Work in New York

In addition to funding statewide initiatives such as NOVELNY and Summer Reading at New York Libraries, LSTA funds are also used to support other programs and services:

Library Broadband Connections: The State Library partners with other units of the State Education Department, the Universal Service Administrative Company, library systems, the New York Library Association and others in improving public access library technology services for New Yorkers. Expert assistance with E-Rate applications resulted in $6.6 million in E-Rate discounts thus far for New York libraries and library systems in 2019. Despite some progress in improving library broadband connections, there is still much work to do. Only thirty-four percent of New York’s 1067 public library facilities have download speeds of 100Mbps or greater. Eleven percent still have download speeds of less than 10Mbps.

Early Literacy: Ready to Read at New York Libraries provides New York’s public libraries large and small with the resources and expertise to enhance early literacy services for young children, families and caregivers and prepare young New Yorkers for success in the school years ahead. Working in partnership with the library systems, the State Library offers research-based early literacy professional development, such as Supercharged Storytimes for All, for library staff statewide. Strong state-level partnerships with Head Start, Reach Out and Read and other early literacy organizations and effective use of social media and online resources help libraries reach deep into their communities to connect with local partners. As a result of Ready to Read, annual attendance at public library early literacy programs was over 3.1 million in 2018, an increase of 44% since the program’s inception in 2014.

Workforce Development and Outreach Services: Library systems, with support from and in partnership with the State Library support adult literacy, workforce development and other public library outreach programs for New Yorkers who are institutionalized or who are having difficulty accessing library services. Sharing of best practices and dissemination of timely information about job search strategies, healthcare, citizenship and immigration, and adult education opportunities help more New Yorkers learn English, find jobs, change careers and advance their education in a tough, competitive global world.

Digitization and Preservation: Free public access to New York’s public documents and other historical materials continues to grow as the State Library, library systems and local libraries digitize thousands of unique documents and make them available to the public via the Internet. The New York State Library preserves and makes accessible documents relevant to New York history and governance. As the central repository for State publications, the Library harvests born-digital government publications, preserves and scans tangible documents, and hosts these items in its digital management system. Through its Document Distribution program, the Library distributes New York State Government publications to repositories across the state staffed with librarians to help put this information in the hands of New Yorkers. In addition, statewide programs support the documentation and preservation of New York’s many rare and unique library research collections housed at local libraries and other cultural institutions and offer support for disaster planning and response.

Accessing New York History: The State Library continues to expand and strengthen statewide, national and international access to New York’s historical treasures and genealogical materials. Library staff catalog collections, create finding aids and conduct workshops on the use of historical materials. Popular public exhibits in the State Capitol and elsewhere highlight unique items from the State Library’s collections such as the Emancipation Proclamation. Online exhibits of uniquely New York historical materials are posted on the State Library’s website for anyone in the world to enjoy. In partnership with various community groups, the Library holds public programs highlighting New York State historical events.

Building Library Leaders: Professional development and sharing of best practices are critical to sustaining a skilled library workforce. The State Library partners with library systems, state and national library organizations to deliver quality online and face-to-face training for library staff and library trustees working at New York’s 7,000 academic, public, school and special libraries. In 2018 New York’s 72 library systems and the State Library offered 5,992 training sessions for library and library system staff and trustees, with 106,320 attendees.

For more information on LSTA funding and New York State, visit these websites:

New York State Library

LSTA Funding

Or contact:

Lauren Moore
State Librarian and
Assistant Commissioner for Libraries
Room 10C34
Cultural Education Center
Albany, New York 12230
Phone: 518-474-5930
Fax: 518-486-6880

young children reading on floor of library girl holding a Libraries Are For Everyone poster

Support for this publication was provided by the Friends of the New York State Library.

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Last Updated: February 26, 2020 -- sm