New York State Library

Coordinated Outreach Services Program

Under New York State Education Law, §273 (1) (h) (1), and Commissioner's Regulations §90.3, Public Library Systems provide Coordinated Outreach Library Services directly and through their member libraries to New Yorkers who are most in need and who often are not regular library users.

Program Basics

I. Each System provides service to all or some of the following target populations:

  • People who are Blind or who have a Physical Disability
  • Seniors
  • People who have a Developmental or Learning Disability
  • People living in Institutionalized Settings
  • Members of Ethnic or Minority Groups in need of special services
  • People who are Educationally Disadvantaged
  • People who are Unemployed or Underemployed
  • People who are Geographically Isolated
  • At risk youth from birth to age 21

II. Each System must employ at least one full-time, certified librarian with expertise in providing public library outreach service. (See a list of outreach coordinators.)

III. Each System maintains a Coordinated Outreach Services Advisory Group which meets at least twice a year, includes 5-11 members, includes members of the target population groups and agencies who work with these groups within the system's service area, and one director of a member library. Council members are to serve three-year terms.

For other parts of the law and full text of both law and Commissioner's Regulations, see Excerpts from New York State Law and Regulations of the Commissioner of Education pertaining to Libraries, Library Systems, Trustees and Librarians

Each public library system receives Coordinated Outreach State Aid:

Coordinated Outreach Library Services provides each system with $43,000 plus $.13 per capita population annually. Education Law §273 (1) (h) (1)

The funds are used statewide for special services such as:

  • Literacy and GED-preparation assistance
  • Book delivery services for people who are geographically isolated or disabled
  • Service to homeless families, migrant farm families
  • Assistive reading devices for disabled persons
  • Job counseling and resume preparation
  • Programs for elderly persons, residents of nursing homes
  • Special collections, and much more.

In addition, each system serving a population of two million inhabitants or more shall receive an additional amount of forty-six thousand three hundred thirty-three dollars and each system serving a population of four hundred thousand inhabitants and less than two million inhabitants shall receive an additional amount of twenty-three thousand dollars and each system serving a population of less than four hundred thousand inhabitants shall receive an additional amount of fourteen thousand dollars.

See also:

IV. Seventeen of the 23 public library systems receive State Aid for Services to State Correctional Facility Libraries:

State Corrections Aid: provides each system that has a state correctional facility (or facilities) in its service area with $9.25 per incarcerated individual based on population in each correctional facility in the system's service area as of July 1 of the previous year. The New York State Department of Corrections provides the population figure to Library Development. Education Law §285 (1); Commissioner's Regulations §90.14.

See also:

Each system with a State Correctional facility or facilities in its service area receives State aid based on the resident populations as of July 1 of the prior year.

V. County Jail "Interinstitutional" Aid: provides each system with one or more county jails with an amount based on the population in the jails as of July 1 of the previous year. The New York State Commission of Correction provides the population figure to Library Development. The total statewide aid is set at $175,000 in Education Law §285 (2).

VI. In addition, outreach services are extended by systems and by public libraries through New York State-funded Adult Literacy Library Services: Education Law §273 h(2) and Commissioner's Regulations §90.3(n) -- and Family Literacy Library Services -- Education Law §273 h(3) and Commissioner's Regulations §90.3(m) grant programs.

Additional Outreach Resources

External Links

Links in this section will take you outside of


For information on Coordinated Outreach Library Services, please contact:

Mary Beth Farr
Library Development Specialist, Outreach and Public Library Systems Services
New York State Library / Division of Library Development
New York State Education Department
Albany, NY 12230

Last Updated: May 20, 2024