May 2014

New York’s Libraries Information Network []; on behalf of; DLD [DLD@MAIL.NYSED.GOV]


April 22, 2014


Assistant Commissioner for Libraries and State Librarian Bernard A. Margolis announced today that the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded a $48,577 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Collaborative Planning Grant to the New York State Library. The grant, covering the period from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, will support the development of a comprehensive statewide early literacy training plan that will enhance and improve the quality of public library early literacy and early learning programs. The resulting training plan will be an integral component of New York’s new statewide early literacy program Ready to Read at New York Libraries.

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports projects to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, faculty, and library leaders; and to support early career research. It also assists in the professional development of librarians and library staff.

“As the information needs of Americans have evolved, so has the work of American libraries and librarians,” said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. “The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program helps address these needs by supporting the professional development and education of a new generation of librarians.”

State Librarian Bernie Margolis said, “This $48,577 grant from IMLS will be instrumental in supporting the State Library’s planning work with an Advisory Group of early literacy experts and with numerous local, state and national partners.”

The result of this year-long collaborative planning effort will be a sustainable and comprehensive statewide training plan for New York’s public library staff,” said Grant Project Director Karen Balsen, Library Development Specialist, New York State Library.

The planned training will provide public library staff with skills and knowledge in areas such as community assessment, creation of library early learning environments, effective outreach strategies and the delivery of quality parent/caregiver education for diverse audiences. Parent/caregiver education will focus on reading readiness, but will also include science and math (STEM).

The plan will also include targeted outreach strategies to assist public libraries in reaching high-risk populations such as residents of high need school districts, minorities, immigrants and the rural poor. Effective evaluation design will inform the quality and practicality of the plan, and provide solid evidence of a change in the skills and knowledge of library staff and families participating in the training.

Implementation of the training plan will be ongoing and will provide local libraries with access to training, as well as to resources and materials that will strengthen the library’s role as a vital community hub for early learning and as a key community partner in serving parents, caregivers and young children.

More information about Ready to Read at New York Libraries and this planning grant project is available at or by contacting Grant Project Director Karen Balsen at .

About the New York State Library

The New York State Library has served New Yorkers, state government and researchers from throughout the United States for more than 195 years. In its leadership role, the State Library works in partnership with the State’s 73 library systems to bring cost-effective, high-quality library services to the millions who use New York’s 7,000 libraries. One of the nation’s leading library development agencies and research libraries, the New York State Library is a program of the Office of Cultural Education in the State Education Department and is located in Albany, New York. To learn more, visit .

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.