School Library Systems Program

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Program Overview

This state-aided program creates and funds 40 School Library Systems (SLS) based in the Big 5 Cities and the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), which serve multiple districts in an area. Main functions of the program are outlined in Commissioner's Regulations 90.18 external link opens in a new window.

Program Information

New York State's School Library Systems

Facts and figures for New York State's School Library Systems. Also available as a PDF brochure.

NYSL 101: For Library System Leaders

Links and resources for getting to know your State Library.

Fiscal Guidelines for School Library Systems (Revised November 2016)

General guidance for the financial management of State Aid by local agencies; links to applicable State laws, regulations, and directives.

Member Plan

Overview of School Library System Member Plan, per (CR) §90.18 (f) (4).

Plans of Service

General information, including dates, announcements, and instructions, for library system plans of service.

School Library System Coordinator/Director Appointment Procedures

Requirements, procedures, and helpful links.

Overview of Council and Communication Coordinator Responsibilities

Information on council representation and duties, as well as roles and responsibilities of communications coordinators.

School Librarian Certification

All teacher certification in New York State has been updated and changed to meet new Part 80 Regulations of the Commissioner external link opens in a new window as of February 2004. Library Media Specialist (all grades) is the new, and only, title for school library media specialists obtaining certificates after February 2004. The Office of Teaching Initiatives issues certificates certifying that an individual has met degree, coursework, assessment, and experience requirements. Certificates are issued in many titles preK-12 in three major categories: classroom teaching, administrative and supervisory, and school service (e.g., school counselor, psychologist, social worker). Library Media Specialist is in the classroom-teaching category.

Obtaining an Initial Certificate

Because individuals are educated throughout the country and enter teaching through various paths, there are two ways to obtain an Initial teaching certificate in NYS. Each method requires candidates to acquire the same level of knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Both methods of obtaining a certificate require three assessments, including a LMS content test, and child abuse identification and school violence prevention and intervention workshops.

See School Librarian Certification Requirements; from the Office of Teaching Initiatives, State Education Department


Merger and Cross-Contracting Guidelines for School Library Systems

Guidelines for long-range planning by school library system coordinators/directors, school library system councils, system liaisons from member districts, school districts and BOCES administrators, District Superintendents, and Boards of Education.

School Library System Cooperative Collection Development Plan Fact Sheet

Helpful information for creating a CCD plan.

New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (NYSTBBL)

NYSTBBL lends audio and braille books and magazines to New Yorkers in counties outside of New York City and Long Island who have a visual, physical or reading disability. Services for New Yorkers living in the New York City and Long Island area are provided by the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Libraryexternal link opens in a new window.

Critical Resources for School Librarians

Program History

Established in 1984, the School Library Systems program provides a formalized network for public and nonpublic school library media centers across the State and provides for the development of a standardized automated catalog which enhances interlibrary loan of resources among the participating schools.

The systems also provide services to their members such as consulting, continuing education and professional development, cooperative collection development plans, services addressing special client needs, database searches of professional research and literature, and connections to other types of libraries and library systems across the State and beyond.

School Library Systems transact over 242,600 interlibrary loans each year. School library media center holdings exceed 47,800,000 copies of 15,242,000 titles. School Library Systems sponsor over 2,000 opportunities for professional development, attended by 31,000 participants each year.

Last Updated: March 22, 2023