Winter 2010

The Trustee communicates issues affecting libraries and library services. Once a library and systems join LTA, all their trustees automatically receive this quarterly publication published by LTA. To learn more about membership in LTA, Click Here.

Highlights of 2009

Winter 2010 issue of Trustee

New Challenges and Opportunities for 2010

As the State Library looks forward to 2010 and beyond, there are many new challenges and opportunities facing New York’s libraries and library systems. It seems appropriate to revisit some of the significant events of 2009 even as we look ahead to the future. 2009 was a banner year for libraries. Library use continued to soar in 2009 as New Yorkers faced tough economic times. More New Yorkers than ever visited their local library to find a job, start a small business, use public access computers, obtain vital local, State and Federal government information, become literate in English and so much more.

State funding for library services is critically important to the cost-effective delivery of library services to 19 million New Yorkers. In 2009, as New York libraries and library systems were facing a significant increase in public demand for materials and services, they also experienced a significant decrease in State funding. The State reduced local assistance funding for libraries and libraries systems by $12 million in 2009 to $87 million. State funding is now at pre-1998 levels. In addition to these reduc- tions, the New York State Library’s operations budget, including the Talking Book and Braille Library was significantly reduced. The State Library has been unable to order any new materials in more than a year, has cancelled subscriptions and has been unable to hire or replace staff.

Despite the tough times, there is still much good news for the State Library to report for 2009. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Public Library Construction Grants - $14 million in 2008-09 capital construction funds for public library construction grants were awarded to 181 projects. Another $14 million was appropriated for 2009-10 grants which are expected to be announced in early 2010. These capital funds are critically important with a documented $2.5 billion need for public library construction and renovation in New York State.
  • Gates Foundation Grants for Public Libraries – The two-year $6.1 million Gates Online Hardware Grant program is winding down. As a result, 421 public libraries received matching funds for 2,145 public access comput- ers and peripherals. The Gates Foundation also just awarded the State Library a new Gates Broadband Grant of $947,517, which will increase broadband connectivity at 70 libraries, bringing connectivity speeds to at least 1.5 mbps.
  • Federal Broadband Stimulus Funds – The State Library worked with multiple partners to apply for two Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grants requesting $25 million in federal funds for public library computing centers and broadband adoption projects. NTIA is expect- ed to make award announcements in February 2010.
  • 35.5 million New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVELNY) Searches.
  • 1.5 million kids participated in 2009 Statewide Summer Reading Program.
  • 2,145 Gates-funded comput- ers installed in 421 public library buildings.
  • 319 libraries and systems received $10.25 million in E- rate discounts.
  • 346,630 formally unserved New Yorkers now have a local public library.
  • 91 library charter actions approved, including two new public library districts.
  • 903 grants to libraries and systems.
  • 179 site visits by Library Development staff.
  • 89 Library Development sponsored education events with 3,518 attendees.
  • 5.2 million page views on Library Development websites
  • 204,836 pages of New York State documents and historical collections scanned for digital collections.
  • Over 37,000 registered users with disabilities served by Talking Book and Braille Library, digital talking books and players loaned for the first time!
  • Over 300 library leaders, trustees and public influ- encers attend statewide planning event - The Magic of Broadband and Libraries - in June 2009.
  • Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands visited the State Library in celebration of the Quadricentennial.
  • 30,097 loan requests to State Research Library, 153,000 pages sent electronically.
  • The State Research Library completed 25,000 requests for correctional facility inmates.
  • The Research Library held 61 programs/classes in 2009 with a total audience of 1,657.

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