Wednesday, December 24, 2008


From Jeffrey Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Interim State Librarian

Through cooperation and collaboration, the New York State Library and our library and system partners across the state have accomplished a great deal in 2008. Facing a tighter budget the library community has
done a lot with less. We have again met or exceeded many of our goals for the year.

It has been a year of remarkable numbers and accomplishments. For example:

● “Catch the Reading Bug,” the 2008 Statewide Summer Reading Program, attracted over 1.5 million young participants, a 15-percent increase over summer 2007. We met the participation goal for 2010 two years early.

● 325 New York libraries received total E-rate discounts of over $8.2 million.

● The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Online Opportunities Hardware Grant provided some 1,073 funded computers installed in 419 public library building in high need communities. And the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has selected New York State as one of seven pilot states for their new Online Broadband Connectivity Initiative.

● Public libraries and systems will receive $14 million in grants for 181 public library construction projects for 2008–2009.

● The Board of Regents approved 55 library charters. Four new public library districts were formed and 318,588 formerly unserved New Yorkers now have a local public library.

● NOVELNY pilot project annual searches totaled 29.6 million, and usage continues to grow; over 5,500 libraries are registered for NOVELNY.

● The Board of Regents formally adopted an amendment toCommissioner’s Regulation 90.7 Certificates for Librarians. As of January 1, 2010 new public librarian professional certificate holders will be required to complete 60 hours of professional development every five year period.

● The Division of Library Development completed over 85 site visits and oversaw a total of 997 grants to libraries and library systems and sponsored 88 education events for 2485 people.

● The State Research Library held 34 classes; 11 of them provided hands-on training and 15 were customized training classes for community groups and state agencies.

● The State Research Library responded to nearly 21,000 interlibrary loan requests, with 155,000 pages sent electronically

● 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.

● The State Library’s Talking Book and Braille Library served 37,000 registered users with visual or reading disabilities; and TBBL is working on converting to new digital players.

● The Research Library provided information to inmates in New York's correctional facilities; nearly 19,000 requests were complete.

● Bernard A. Margolis was appointed New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries after a rigorous national search. He will officially start his position on January 8, 2009.

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 2008, please accept my
thanks for your efforts.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season and continuing successes in 2009.

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