State Programs > State Profiles
New York

State Librarian

Mr. Bernard A. Margolis
State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries
New York State Library
Cultural Education Center
222 Madison Avenue, Room 10C34
Albany, NY 12230
Phone: 518/486-4865
Fax: 518/486-6880
E-mail: bmargolis@mail.nysed.gov

State library website:
http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/

photo of New York State Librarian“Local needs may vary, but reliable and equitable access to all forms of information statewide tops our list of goals. Improvement grants and partnerships support this effort. Literacy fluency is second, in all its forms, for all populations. Third is to ensure that our libraries’ staff provides exemplary service.”

--Bernard A. Margolis, State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries, New York State Library

Read the New York State Library interview with IMLS.

 

The Grants to States Program

The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan (see below). For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.

 

Recent Allotments

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
$9,502,651 $8,513,873 $8,146,018 $7,718,754 $7,632,818


View allotments for all states
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Project Examples

Ready Set Kindergarten! Summer Series of Weekend Preschool Storytime
Brooklyn Public Library’s Ready Set Kindergarten! program was an extension of its popular Weekend Preschool Storytime project. Targeted to working parents, low-income families, and foreign-born families, the program sought to convey the importance of reading to children at an early age; offer ways to engage children in simple, developmentally appropriate math and science activities; and promote the availability of early literacy services and local library resources. As part of the program, children engaged in fun, interactive storytimes to build skills for kindergarten readiness. Among parents of participating children, 83 percent reported that the activities, resources, and information had helped to improve their children’s literacy and 70 percent said they gained new ideas to use with their children. The project’s focus on school readiness has also enabled Brooklyn Public Library to collaborate more with the New York City Department of Education’s early childhood initiatives.
IMLS Funds: $35,400

Welcoming Spaces: Serving Patrons with Autism Spectrum Disorders
The Nassau Library System provided its member library directors and staff with professional development opportunities and resources focused on patrons with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families. The Welcoming Spaces project used grant funds for social storybooks, other autism-related books, and two technology training kits for the library staff workshop series. As a result of the workshops, 98 to 100 percent of participants reported that they felt more confident in their ability to effectively serve patrons with ASD. The Nassau Library System and seven of its member libraries strengthened ties with local community organizations, and as a result of the project have truly become community resource partners in providing services for people with ASD.
IMLS Funds: $23,300

Other project(s) featured through IMLS media include:

Search the Awarded Grants Database for additional details about awards in this state.

 

Five-Year Plan

Each state creates a 5-year plan for its programs to strengthen the efficiency, reach, and effectiveness of library services. Click here to read New York's 5-year plan for 2013-2017 (PDF, 142KB). View all states' plans.

 

Five-Year Plan Highlights

Lifelong Learning

Literacy

  • Provide robust early childhood literacy/education programs, including programs for families of young children, and provide homework assistance for students as a core service.
  • Maintain the vitality of Summer Reading at New York Libraries.
  • The Regents Advisory Council encourages the New York State Library and the state’s library systems to expand the existing Commissioner’s Regulations, Section 91.2, to require an elementary school librarian in every school to strengthen instructional leadership in meeting the P-12 Common Core Learning Standards, and enforce library staffing regulations in all public schools.

Collaborations

  • Create incentives for school libraries’ collaboration with other libraries and communities to ensure full-time, full-year access to information that will expand opportunities for all students.
  • Continue and strengthen collaborations in support of lifelong learning, information literacy, and research.
  • Advance the primary role of academic librarians in fostering the integration of information literacy competencies to support student academic achievement and prepare them for the global information economy that will shape their professional and personal lives.

Information Access

Access to E-Resources

  • Libraries will provide New Yorkers with equitable access to e-information resources. The Regents Advisory Council urges all libraries to:
    • Collaborate to integrate services and collections.
    • Actively participate in statewide/national initiatives to bring a digital library of shared use, freely accessible books, and research materials to all New Yorkers.
    • Collaborate with other libraries in the development of statewide licensing of e-databases and e-resources of all kinds.
    • Expand the core collection of commercial e-resources available statewide to include additional library materials for academic research, small business, K-12 education, workforce development, and lifelong learning.

Interlibrary Loans

  • The Regents Advisory Council encourages the New York State Library and the state’s library systems to develop a statewide delivery infrastructure and investigate the need for a statewide union catalog.

Digitization/Preservation

  • The Regents Advisory Council supports the expansion of public access to the digital holdings of New York libraries, historical records repositories, and other cultural institutions.

Economic and Employment Development

Job Seekers

  • The Regents Advisory Council supports expansion of the core collection of commercial e-resources available statewide to include additional library materials for workforce development.

Business Resources

  • The Regents Advisory Council supports expansion of the core collection of commercial e-resources available statewide to include additional library materials that serve the information needs of small businesses.

Institutional Capacity

Continuing Education

  • The Regents Advisory Council encourages the New York State Library and the state’s library systems to train library staff and the public in accessing and using e-resources.

Partnerships

  • The Regents Advisory Council encourages the New York State Library and the state’s library systems to:
    • Build opportunities and partnerships among libraries, library systems, state government, private industry, the nonprofit sector and others to expand statewide access to e-resources for all New Yorkers.
    • Collaborate with others in the development of consistent, cost-effective digital preservation strategies.
    • Anticipate and develop innovative entrepreneurial services.

Technology

  • The Regents Advisory Council encourages the New York State Library and the state’s library systems to:
    • Partner with vendors, library organizations, and others to explore technology solutions, such as geo-location, to streamline and enhance remote access to commercial e-resources for all New Yorkers.
    • Leverage federal E-Rate discounts to improve and sustain high-speed broadband connections at libraries.
    • Develop opportunities for more libraries to offer virtual meetings, distance education and other technology-based applications for the public.
    • Work on the creation of new services, such as the deployment of systems for intelligent processing and correlation of large data sets.

Interlibrary Loans

  • Expand online services for interlibrary loans by investigating state library partnerships with existing resource sharing platforms.

Civic Engagement

Programs

  • Align outreach services with societal priorities, such as teen services and gang prevention.
  • Proactively create and collect local content and serve as a catalyst for civic engagement to promote civil discourse and confront society’s most difficult problems.

Human Services

Special Services for Special Needs

  • Strengthen partnerships that increase awareness and use of the Digital Talking Book Program offered through the Andrew Heiskell Talking Book Library and the New York State Library’s Talking Book and Braille Library.

 

Five-Year Evaluation

At the end of a 5-year period, each state reports their results in achieving goals and objectives projected in their 5-Year Plan. Click here to read New York's 5-year evaluation for 2008-2012 (PDF, 1,039KB). View all states' evaluations.

 

IMLS Data Collection

State Library Survey
The State Library Agency Survey (SLAA) provides descriptive data about state library agencies for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Public Library Survey
The Public Library Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Data are collected from over 9,000 public library systems with over 17,000 public library outlets. Click here for New York's profile from the most recent PLS publication (PDF, 373KB).