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About NOVELny

New York State residents can find answers to any imaginable question by using their library. NOVELny is only one of many ways libraries organize the books, articles, and other information sources they hold. NOVELny makes all this information available to you – wherever you are.

New Yorkers accessing the databases through a library website or the NOVELny portal while in New York will be able to enter the databases via geoIP authentication (also referred to as geolocation) without entering a username/password, library card number or a driver license number.

New Yorkers who are accessing the databases out of state will be given the option to log in using their public library card or New York driver license / New York Non-Driver ID. Students may access the NOVELny databases through their school or academic library. Remote access is also available to holders of a New York State Resident Borrower’s Card or a New York State Library Borrower’s Card.

Resources are available if you need assistance in using NOVELny. You may want to read the FAQ page, or contact the Help Desk (available only on weekdays during business hours).

NOVELny, the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library, is a public no-cost online information network that creates a "library without walls." NOVELny provides a gateway for all New Yorkers, even those in the most geographically isolated communities, to a vast array of electronic books, e-journals, full text magazines and articles as well as to the rich resources of libraries throughout the state via online catalogs, digitized collections of photographs, images, maps, manuscripts, encyclopedias, journals and other proprietary databases licensed on a statewide basis for free public access.

Although the Internet, the World Wide Web, and other technologies provide online information, only NOVELny provides the high quality, reliable, accurate sources of electronic information New Yorkers need.

Because of the open nature of the Internet, much of the information it accesses is neither accurate nor up-to-date. Other valuable information is available only at a cost from commercial publishers, and much information still remains to be digitized.

At the same time, many people lack the resources to access the Internet. According to a study released in 2002 by Benton Foundation, 76 percent of minority households and 73 percent of those with a disability do not have Internet access. While 76% of households making $75,000 per year or more have computers in the home, 86 percent of households with an annual income less than $15,000 do not. NOVELny will help community libraries provide access to electronic information resources for all New Yorkers regardless of economic circumstances.

NOVELny helps close the digital divide by making electronic and digital information accessible via the local library as well as remote locations such as home, school or office. This means that all New Yorkers, regardless of economics, geographic isolation or disabilities have access to the information they need.

NOVELny assures that all New Yorkers have equity of access to information independent of financial, physical or geographical limitations. While the ability to obtain information is essential today, much of the electronic information that is available is complex. Consumers need trusted navigators to find accurate, valid information that is sorted from the sea of less relevant data.

NOVELny offers a networked library where librarians apply their expertise in selection to create paths to useful sites, to verify the accuracy and currency of data, and to validate resources. Through its connection at the local library, NOVELny also makes these resources available to those without personal computers. Through an online connection at home or office, NOVELny is always open, always ready, and always available.

How can New Yorkers access NOVELny?

All New Yorkers have free access to digital information via their community library and in many cases from remote locations such as home, school or work.

Background

The NOVEL Initiatives

(excerpted from the full NOVEL Plan, Libraries Expanding Information Access for New Yorkers in the New Century, August 15, 2001)

  1. Increase Access to Electronic Resources on a Statewide Basis.
  2. Expand Resource Sharing in New York State to Improve Electronic and Traditional Access to Library Resources for All Users.
  3. Develop a Coordinated Program for the Digitization of Information Resources in New York Libraries and Other Repositories.
  4. Enhance the Availability of High-Speed Telecommunications for New York's Libraries Across All Regions of the State.
  5. Develop a NOVEL User Interface (or Portal) that Integrates the Services and Resources Brought Together Under NOVEL.

Origins and Component Parts

The Board of Regents, at their July 13, 2000, meeting, adopted the Final Report of the Regents Commission on Library Services, Meeting the Needs of all New Yorkers: Library Service in the New Century, as Regents policy. Recommendation 1 in this report is to: "Create NOVEL, the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library, to deliver high-quality, reliable digital information to all New Yorkers."

From 2002 to 2012, a NOVELny Steering Committee existed for the purpose of implementing the NOVELny Plan, NOVEL New York Online Virtual Electronic Library: Libraries Expanding Information Access for New Yorkers in the New Century. The committee was comprised of library leaders from a broad spectrum of libraries and systems throughout the State.

As stated in the Final Report of the Regents Commission on Library Services (July 14, 2000), NOVEL consisted of four components:

  1. Electronic resources purchased on a statewide basis to provide significant economies of scale;
  2. Shared electronic catalogs of the holdings of all types of libraries, including the high-quality, specialized resources held by New York's academic and special libraries;
  3. Opportunities for libraries to digitize their unique collections; and
  4. Enhanced opportunities for high-speed network access that will enable libraries to deliver all the benefits and features of NOVEL.

A fifth component -- a NOVEL user interface (or portal) that integrates the services and resources brought together under NOVEL -- was added in the NOVEL Plan, Libraries Expanding Information Access for New Yorkers in the New Century (August 15, 2001).

NOVEL is intended to encompass all types of libraries: public, school, academic, and special libraries. NOVEL will enable all of New York's libraries to make digital information from their collections available to users in their homes or offices.

Comprehensiveness

NOVEL is intended to encompass all types of libraries: public, school, academic, and special libraries. NOVEL will enable all of New York's libraries to make digital information from their collections available to users in their homes or offices.

Last Updated: August 9, 2021