New York State Library
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The New York State Library's collections are valuable resources for researchers in a variety of disciplines. These collections are particularly strong in law, medicine, social sciences, American and New York State history, certain pure sciences, technology, and Federal and State documents.

The State Library's collection development policy reflects:

  • changing information needs,
  • developing technologies,
  • the Library's statewide responsibilities, and
  • official mandates for collection and preservation of materials.


The goals of the Research Library of the New York State Library in developing its collections are:

  • To provide reference information and materials in all formats to support the work of New York State government;
  • To back up libraries throughout New York State with in-depth information in subject areas designated by the Collection Development Policy;
  • To provide access to electronic information for all New Yorkers via libraries;
  • To be an in-depth source of information about New York State: its history, government, cultural and physical environment.

Scope and Purpose

The New York State Library's Collection Development Policy is a strategic and vital management tool that defines what material should be collected to support the goals of the Library as detailed above. It also outlines the general policies for building, maintaining and preserving collections to implement the Library's objectives.

The Library's Collection Development Policy was formulated taking into account:

  • other library resources in the State's library systems,
  • other State-funded library collections, and
  • library resources available in the Capital District.

Use of standard format and language ensure compatibility with collections of other libraries.
The collecting levels (see Definition of Collection Levels) are based upon the WLN (formerly Washington Library Network) collection codes that have been used in several American Library Association publications.

Policy Revisions

The Library's Collection Development was completely reviewed and revised in 2001. However, because of an ever-changing fiscal environment and its impact on the Library's budget, as well as rapid technological advances, expanding information resources, and opportunities for resource sharing with other institutions, no collection development policy should remain static. The Library's Collection Development Committee will periodically update sections of this policy as needed. New or revised sections will indicate the date they were added or updated.

Collection Develpment Policy table of contents

Last Updated: May 4, 2021