|New York State||Assembly|
December 15, 2002
The Honorable Sheldon Silver
Dear Speaker Silver:
I am honored to present the Annual Report for the Committee on Libraries and Education Technology for the 2002 legislative session. Since becoming the Chair of the Libraries and Education Technology Committee in 1999, I have worked to increase public awareness of the many valuable contributions libraries make to New York's citizens. I have initiated the Education Technology Day held at the Legislative Office Building for each of the past two years. I have also arranged for public display of photographs of libraries from all over the state.
Libraries in New York, from the smallest reading rooms in our rural villages to the world renowned New York Public Library, face tremendous challenges as we enter the twenty-first century. The growth in new technologies has broadened the types of services libraries make available to the public. Compact and digital video discs are now standard in many libraries, and circulation of traditional materials continues to rise. Libraries across New York State are serving patrons in both new and old ways, combining state-of-the art internet terminals with collections of historical books and artifacts.
Despite the variety of services being demanded by the public and the overall increase in library use, library funding has lagged. The formula devised for library funding at the state level was enacted in Chapter 917 of the Laws of 1990, well before new technologies began to impact library budgets. Full funding of Chapter 917 was not reached for many years, and has never been adjusted for inflation, much less to reflect the increased needs of libraries in today's world. I was pleased to see an increase in funding of school libraries in 1999-2000 and was relieved to increase funding in the 2000-2001 budget by an additional $5 million.
The Committee on Libraries and Education Technology, and the entire Assembly Majority, have worked hard in past years to rectify the shortfalls in library funding. Additional programs have been crafted to address the needs of library users, such as Baby Steps designed to assist very young children and their parents or their caregivers, an Assembly proposal. The Assembly Majority has also consistently included additional funding for existing programs in its budget proposals.
Although I will not be returning to the Assembly next year, my interest in and passion for libraries will continue. I plan to continue to advocate for increased library funding at local, state and federal levels. I am saddened to be leaving the work of the Committee behind, but look forward to working for libraries as a private citizen.
Assembly Committee on
Libraries and Education Technology
2002 ANNUAL REPORT
STANDING COMMITTEE ON LIBRARIES
NAOMI C. MATUSOW, CHAIR
Sabrina M. Ty, Principal Legislative Coordinator
|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
|I. COMMITTEE JURISDICTION|
New York's libraries represent an invaluable educational and cultural resource for the State and its citizens. New York State has over 7,000 libraries which serve our citizens in many capacities. Many of these institutions are among the largest and the best in the United States. Of the forty largest libraries in the United States, six are located in New York, more than in any other state. New York's largest library, the New York Public Library, contains over ten million volumes and is among the top research institutions in the world. New York's libraries provide support for students, teachers, researchers, readers, job seekers, entrepreneurs and many others who need assistance in finding and using information.
The Libraries and Education Technology Committee has jurisdiction over legislation introduced concerning the many issues affecting public, academic, school and private libraries. The Committee, created in 1997 under the leadership of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, handles legislation affecting the administration and funding of libraries and library systems across New York State. The Committee develops and reviews legislation which enables New York's libraries to meet the challenges of the information age. Today's explosion in information technology has placed new demands on libraries. As libraries are called upon to play an expanding role in educating New Yorkers, it is imperative that they receive the attention and support they require to meet these new challenges. The work done by the Committee assists libraries in sustaining the infrastructure and staff resources necessary to allow all New Yorkers access to technological advances available through New York's vast library community.
|II. PROVIDING LIBRARIES WITH NECESSARY RESOURCES|
The needs of New York's diverse and vibrant population are great. New York's libraries work hard to meet these diverse needs. Public, academic and school libraries cannot serve their patrons without an adequate and consistent source of funding. The New York State Assembly has long supported libraries and the educational, cultural and economic roles they play in their communities. The Assembly Majority is committed to providing libraries with the resources needed to serve all our state's citizens. Providing these resources requires a well-focused policy commitment as well as significant state financial support.
The Assembly has made increased funding for New York's libraries a priority. To meet the funding needs of New York libraries, Chapter 917 of 1990 was enacted, establishing an appropriation which was designed to provide sufficient funding for both library systems and individual libraries. The 2002-2003 budget approved by the Legislature included $88.9 million in funds for Chapter 917 programs.
Other measures designed to increase library funding were also considered by the Libraries and Education Technology Committee.
A. 7349 A, Matusow This bill would create ten new library aid programs and augment existing aid programs. Among the new initiatives is the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVEL) program, designed to provide statewide access to electronic library services through the local library and at home. The bill aims to strengthen all types of library service throughout the state. This bill was reported to the Ways and Means Committee.
A. 9021 B, Matusow This legislation would create a revolving loan fund for libraries, enabling them to fund needed capital construction. Loans would be awarded to eligible libraries and be repaid at low interest. Eligible projects would expand space for library services and increase access for the handicapped. This bill passed the Assembly but died in the Senate.
A. 5926, Matusow This bill would create an annual "Friends of Libraries Week" designed to highlight the significant contributions made by Friends of Libraries organizations throughout the state. This bill passed the Assembly but died in the Senate.
A. 2107, Matusow This bill would create a grant program to assist elementary school libraries in improving library service to our youngest students. The grant program would provide one-time awards to needy schools through a competitive process. This bill was referred to the Ways and Means Committee.
A. 2106 A, Morelle This bill would provide an additional $50,000 in annual funding to the Rochester Public Library. This bill was referred to the Ways and Means Committee.
A. 988 A, Luster This bill would provide supplemental financial assistance to library systems which merge. Currently, library systems which merge receive less state aid as a new, single system than the individual systems would have received. This bill passed the Assembly and died in the Senate.
A. 5552, Colman This bill would appropriate $250,000 to the New York State Library to facilitate construction of a permanent display of New York's copy of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. This bill was referred to the Ways and Means Committee.
A. 989 B, Luster This bill would provide funding for scholarships for library students willing to serve in school, public or academic libraries in New York State after graduation. This bill was referred to the Codes Committee.
|III. IMPROVING AND EXPANDING NEW YORK STATE LIBRARIES|
New Yorkers are blessed with one of the richest assortment of library resources in the nation. New York has 741 chartered public or association libraries, 23 public library systems, 9 reference and research library systems and numerous specialized libraries. 42 school library systems serve the over 1400 school libraries located in elementary and secondary schools. From the New York Public Library, nationally recognized as one of the top research libraries in the world, to the smallest community-based book exchange, libraries play an important role in the lives of New Yorkers.
The Assembly Libraries and Education Technology Committee considered a variety of legislation designed to expand and improve libraries throughout New York State.
A. 9636, Cahill; Chapter 155 of the Laws of 2002 This new law would authorize a referendum creating the Plattekill Library District in the Town of Plattekill and stipulates the election and governance procedures for the district.
A. 11343, Rules (Weisenberg); Chapter 374 of the Laws of 2002 This new law will authorize a referendum creating the Mill Brook Library Funding District in the Town of Hempstead and stipulates rules for contracting to provide library service for the residents of the district.
A. 11585 A, Rules (Weisenberg); Chapter 382 of the Laws of 2002 This new law authorizes a referendum creating the Hewlett Harbor Library Funding District and stipulates rules for contracting for library services to serve the residents of the district.
A. 11662 Rules (Alfano); Chapter 380 of the Laws of 2002 This new law authorizes four referenda creating the North Valley Stream, East Franklin Square, North Malverne and North Lynbrook Library Districts in the Town of Hempstead and stipulates rules for contracting to provide library services to the residents of the respective districts.
S. 6748, Saland; Chapter 491 of the Laws of 2002 This new law authorizes a referendum creating the Hudson Area Library District and stipulates rules for the election and governance of the district.
A. 8776 A, Rules (Boyle); Chapter 285 of the Laws of 2002 This new law will allow the Babylon Public Library to seek financing and construction assistance from the State Dormitory Authority.
A. 9393 A, Rules (Sweeney); Chapter 288 of the Laws of 2002 This new law will allow the Lindenhurst Memorial Library to seek financing and construction assistance from the State Dormitory Authority.
A. 9774, DiNapoli; Chapter 290 of the Laws of 2002 This new law will allow the Great Neck Library to seek financing and construction assistance from the State Dormitory Authority.
A. 11454, Rules (Gromack); Chapter 197 of the Laws of 2002 This new law authorizes the New City Library to seek financing and construction assistance from the Dormitory Authority.
A. 3492, Weprin; Chapter 561 of the Laws of 2002 This new law will appoint the Speaker of the New York City Council an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees of the Queens Borough Public Library.
A. 10409, Hooper This bill would amend the authorizing legislation for the Lakeview Public Library District to allow for election of board trustees and public voting on library budgets. This bill passed the Assembly and died in the Senate.
A. 10420 C, Gunther; Chapter 152 of the Laws of 2002 This new law will allow a referendum to be held which would expand the Thrall Public Library District to include the total area of the Minisink Valley Central School District and stipulates the rules governing the referendum.
SUMMARY OF ACTION ON ALL BILLS REFERRED
|Bills Reported With or Without Amendment|
|To Floor; not returning to Committee||1||0||1|
|To Floor; Recommitted and Died||0||0||0|
|To Ways and Means Committee||18||1||19|
|To Codes Committee||1||0||1|
|To Rules Committee||1||0||1|
|To Judiciary Committee||0||0||0|
|Senate Bills Substituted or Recalled|
|Bills Defeated in Committee||0||0||0|
|Bills Never Reported, Held in Committee||0||0||0|
|Bills Never Reported, Died in Committee||14||0||14|
|Bills Having Enacting Clauses Stricken||0||0||0|
|Motion to Discharge Lost||0||0||0|
|TOTAL BILLS IN COMMITTEE||35||9||44|
|TOTAL NUMBER OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS HELD||4|
Education Technology Day
The Libraries and Education Technology Committee, in conjunction with the Education and Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committees, held the second annual Education Technology Day in Albany on April 24, 2002. Exhibits and seminars were held throughout the day for a large audience of educators, administrators and students.
Multiple presentations were held to educate participants about advances in educational technologies. Keynote speaker Bonnie Ladd spoke about the challenges and opportunities of integrating technology into school curricula. Other presenters addressed maximizing student learning through technology. Many participants stressed the need to embrace emerging technologies. Participants were unanimous in articulating the need for New York to provide students with the tools they need to join the twenty-first century workforce.
Of special interest were students and teachers from four Schools of the Future who demonstrated their current methods for bringing the most up-to-date technology into schools. Teachers and students from Utica, Irvington, Niskayuna and Ithaca demonstrated the model practices their schools have put in place. Administrators and teachers from throughout the state were impressed with the technical ability of the student presenters.
CHAPTERS OF 2001
|A. 10420 C (Gunther)||152||Expands the Thrall Public Library District.|
|A. 9636 (Cahill)||155||Creates the Plattekill Library District.|
|A. 11454 (Gromack)||197||Allows the New City Library to utilize Dormitory Authority services.|
|A. 8776 A (Boyle)||285||Allows the Babylon Public Library to utilize Dormitory Authority services.|
|9548 (Faso)||287||Amends the Heermance Public Library District Law.|
|A. 9393 A (Sweeney)||288||Allows the Lindenhurst Memorial Library to utilize Dormitory Authority services.|
|A. 9774 (DiNapoli)||290||Allows the Great Neck Library to utilize Dormitory Authority services.|
|A. 11343 (Weisenberg)||374||Creates the Mill Brook Library Funding District.|
|A. 11662 (Alfano)||380||Creates the North Valley Stream, East Franklin Square, North Malverne and North Lynbrook Library Funding Districts.|
|A. 11585 A (Weisenberg)||382||Creates the Hewlett Harbor Library Funding District.|
|S. 6748 (Saland)||491||Creates the Hudson Area Library District.|
|A. 3492 (Weprin)||561||Appoints the New York City Council Speaker to the Board of Trustees of the Queens Borough Public Library.|