The great state of New York is covered by 755 public libraries with over 1100 branches. Those public libraries are organized into 23 separate library systems which contain multiple counties. These libraries are overseen at the state level by the Division of Library Development in the State Education Department. DLD categories public library systems into three types:

Three Types of Public Library Systems

Consolidated (3): Chartered as a single entity under a board of trustees (Brooklyn, The New York Public Library, and Queens Borough Public Library).

Federated (4): Created by action of the board or boards of supervisors or legislature of the county or counties involved while member libraries retain their own charters (Buffalo & Erie, Clinton-Essex-Franklin, Monroe, and Onondaga).

Cooperative (16): An association created by agreement of boards of chartered member libraries, which retain their autonomy.

For further information on these types, see this table from DLD.

The public libraries themselves are categorized into Municipal, School District, and Special District public libraries. There are also many Association libraries that operate independently of the government entities around them but may still belong to their local system.

For further information on these types, see this table from DLD.

For the section of the Library Trustee Handbook related to the Library Network in New York State, click here.

For a mini webinar on this subject produced by the Helping All Trustees Succeed (HATS) group, click here.