Spring 2008

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Library Numbers Impresive

By Janet Welch, State Librarian

Spring 2008 issue of Trustee

Through cooperation and collaboration, the New York State Library and our library and system partners across the state have accomplished a great deal in 2007. We have again met significant challenges and turned them into opportunities to improve library services to the people of New York.

It has been a year of extraordinary numbers. For example: a Clue @Your Library, the 2007 Statewide Summer Reading Program, attracted 1.35 million young participants, a 10-percent increase over summer 2006 and an increase of more than 15 percent in five of the public library systems.

New York’s libraries received E-rate discounts of over $18.4 million, the highest annual amount awarded in the 10 years of the program.

A new $5.6 million Gates Online Opportunities Hardware Grant will soon provide some 2,100 computer workstations and training support for more than 440 libraries and branches around the state.

Public libraries and systems received $14.8 million in grants for 256 public library construction projects for 20072008.
The Board of Regents approved 56 library charters.

NOVELNY pilot project/Statewide Internet Library annual searches totaled 25.6 million, and usage continues to grow; 5,500 libraries are registered for NOVELNY.

41 students will graduate with their MLS degrees this year as a result of the federally funded IMLS Making It Real! librarian recruitment grant, improving the diversity of the library workforce in New York State.

The Division of Library Development offered and/or sponsored 939 statewide education events attended by 8,776 people, including library staff, trustees, and others; for example, more than 756 library staff and trustees from across the state participated in 47 workshops offered by the Gates/WebJunction Spanish Language Outreach Program and the public library systems. The State Research Library led 214 tours and presentations, sponsored 40 programs for the public, and held 21 customized training classes both on- and offsite for community groups and staff of state agencies.
The State Research Library responded to 32,000 interlibrary loan requests, with 177,000 pages sent electronically; the Research Library joined LAND, Nylink’s rapid-delivery service for resource sharing among New York’s academic libraries, including all SUNY and CUNY institutions.

The State Research Library’s digitization project has scanned 84,667 pages of New York State documents as well as other non-copyrighted materials, and provides links to the digitized information through its online catalog.  A recently acquired high-speed book scanner, capable of scanning 1,200 pages an hour, has stepped up the production of content from the Research Library’s collections for availability on its website—e.g., a 14-volume set of the Sir William Johnson Papers, an important work for historians and educators, is now accessible from anywhere in the world.

The State Library’s Talking Book and Braille Library served 39,000 registered users with visual or reading disabilities; more than 68,000 titles on audio cassette or in Braille were available for loan for use on free playback equipment.
 The Research Library provided information to inmates in New York’s correctional facilities; 18,061 requests were completed for 2,228 inmates.

500 new users from across the state registered for a New York State Resident Borrower’s card this year, bringing the total number of registered borrowers under this program to 3,012. This program, open to all New Yorkers, represents about 20 percent of the total number of borrowers.Subscriptions to electronic journals for the Research Library’s online resources more than doubled from 10,000 to 23,000; customers used these resources more than 51,300 times either onsite or remotely; the number of onsite customers rose 5 percent (spurred by the use of 50 computers connecting to 100 databases in law, medicine, business, grants, and newspapers).

I am proud of New York’s library community and the collaborative spirit that you all demonstrate as we continue to develop innovative ways to serve New Yorkers. In the final days of 2007, please accept my thanks for your efforts.
Janet M. Welch, New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries.

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