Volume 26, Number 4, Winter 2004

State Library Launches New Web Resource for Outreach Services

The Coordinated Outreach Library Services Program of the New York State Library's Division of Library Development has a helpful, easy-to-use, new web-based resource. The Web page "Public Library System Outreach Web Resources" can help anyone interested in public library outreach services quickly locate library and system-created web pages for services to special populations in all areas of New York State.

The resource is also intended to help the library community promote public library system services; allow the library systems to easily see web page tools that other systems have created; and to facilitate collaborative efforts among the systems.

To reach the new web page, go directly to www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/outreach/links.htm or go to www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/outreach and then scroll down to click on "Links to Public Library System Outreach Web Resources-New!"

From the page you can connect to sites created by the public library systems by clicking on the map or choose from links organized by outreach-related categories. Categories include Books by Mail, Bookmobiles, Community Information, Corrections/Jails, Court-Help Resources, Services to People with Disabilities, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Spanish Language News and Government Resources, Ethnic Minority Groups, Grants, Health Literacy, Homebound Services, Homeless Services, Job Information, Literacy, Rural Library Services, Seniors, Deposit Collections/Institutional Services, Small Business, and Youth.

Since 1981, New York State's public library systems have received State aid to provide Coordinated Outreach Library Services directly and through their member libraries to New Yorkers who often are not regular library users. Target populations include individuals who are blind or physically disabled, aged, institutionalized, members of ethnic/minority groups in need of special services, educationally disadvantaged, unemployed or underemployed, and geographically isolated. Funds provided through state law support special services such as bookmobiles, homebound delivery, library services and programs for disabled persons, literacy services, job and career information, programs for elderly persons, residents of nursing homes, and people who are incarcerated.

In addition outreach services are extended by the library systems and by public libraries through the federally funded LSTA Special Services grants and the New York State-funded Adult Literacy Library Services and Parent and Child Library Services grant programs. For more information on these programs see www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/ and click on the names of each program.

If you have questions on the new web resource or Coordinated Outreach Library Services, please contact Cassie Artale at 518/474-1479.